Tweeting seniors learn social media through special class

Tweeting seniors learn social media through special class
SEATTLE - Finding Grandma on Google, Facebook and Twitter just got easier. A special social media class for seniors is bringing families closer together.

It's back to school at the Bayview Retirement Community in Seattle.

"Our goal is to help you connect with your friends and your loved ones," one volunteer tells her senior citizen students.

Volunteers are bridging the gap between the wisdom of age and the age of Facebook with a class in social media. The training session was put on by the Bonsai Media Group.

One of the main reasons these older folk want to learn about Facebook is actually a sad reality of modern life.

"Fact is, grandkids are almost never going to pick the phone and call anymore," says training volunteer Staci Smith. "We all know they are probably going to text you before they are going to call."

But often a text or social media greeting doesn't get through.

"Sometimes it's very frustrating when you get a message, and you don't know how to reply to it," says Joanna Farmer, who is learning social media in the class.

One of those giving their time was KOMO's own Kelly Koopmans. The class also taught Internet security to help ease the fears of social media.

"The unfortunate reality is that scammers are going to target seniors," says Smith. "One of the real big topics today was figuring out how to set your account settings and privacy settings."

"When I go to my computer I just get right into it," says Farmer.

Instructors say these new kids on the Facebook block are fast learners - and now able to stay in constant touch with family through Facebook or Twitter.

"A lot of them are on Facebook, and that way I can keep track of them," says Farmer. "I can keep track of what they are doing - and put my two bits in."

One hashtag at a time.