Pinterest and Amazon are two websites, also offered as apps, that can be greatly beneficial for older adults through the use of social networking and product retrieval. Both apps can expand the community of older adults and provide new ways to access areas of personal interest and personal need. Pinterest is an online website that is composed of images that are linked with different websites. The website Pinterest got its name by combining the words “pin” and “interest” in regards to building a visual bookmarking site. It is compiled of images that are in relation to quotes, projects, products, tools, and much more. This is interesting for an aging and retired population because it can spark passion in areas of life that do not revolve around work life. Members can save numerous images onto a board and give it a title. Multiple boards can be made and there is no limit as to how much you can save on each board. Once boards are built, members can share their boards with their friends and other Pinterest members. Even though members can share their boards with their community, they can also keep boards private if they want. This is important because it is the start of connecting with other older adults who are in the same stage of life as you. Loneliness is common amongst older adults and Pinterest can help alleviate the loneliness and wandering that is frequently experienced throughout that population.
Similar to Pinterest, Amazon is compiled of products. However, the products seen on Amazon are for sale and can be shipped to homes. Amazon is one of the largest online shopping websites and is rapidly expanding. Products sold on Amazon include but are not limited to books, electronics, furniture, apparel, and music. Amazon can be used through a regular account, or can be used through a membership known as Amazon Prime. When members have Amazon Prime, they have access to free two-day shipping, unlimited online movie streaming, discounts, and free music. Recently, Amazon has expanded their services by offering Prime Pantry. This service through Amazon allows for groceries to be bought online and delivered at a member’s house. Pinterest and Amazon are two services that are used around the globe and should begin to be utilized by older adults.
In research done by Peacock and Künemund (2007), two age categories were surveyed regarding internet use or non-internet use. The first age group surveyed ranged from 55-64 years old, while the second age group surveyed was 65 year old or more. In the study, 16,161 people were surveyed at random and were asked about internet use and interest. Researchers asked the younger population questions revolving around how often they used the internet and the reasons as to why they use the internet, whereas the older population was asked questions about how their life could change because of the internet or how they might be inspired to start using the internet more frequently. All participants were asked what form of training they would need in order to use the internet properly and what kind of information they find on the internet. After surveying all populations, results showed that the three main reasons for the lack of internet use over persistent internet use was due to deficient knowledge, lack of a device and motivational indifference (Peacock & Künemund, 2007). This study gives researchers reasoning as to why many older adults are not frequent internet users and leads researchers and other populations to ponder what changes need to take place to allow older adults to access internet in an easier and more productive way.
Although older adults are not frequent internet uses, Pinterest offers many beneficial aspects that are accessible for older adults. First, this website allows older adults to find an inspiration and respond to visual nature. As adults grow older, their brains shift to images over words, which is what Pinterest is solely based off of. That being said, many older adults will have an easier time identifying images on Pinterest, rather than having to read text. However, as older adults continue to age, their vision can become obscured and make it difficult for them to see a clear picture. As a resolution, Pinterest offers enlarged images when you click on selected images, which older adults can utilize through the app. Pinterest can expand older adults hobbies on things such as gardening, cooking, traveling, painting, exercising, and crafting. Along with hobbies, Pinterest can also help seniors gather tips on successful aging, retirement plans, and ideas in relation to those. Older adults should be interested in learning to use Pinterest because it can broaden their social networking by expanding their virtual nature, connecting with other members, and lead them in new hobbies.
Not only should older adults begin to become interested in Pinterest, but they should become educated with Amazon. Amazon is commonly used amongst young people to order products that are directly delivered to their apartment or house. This website can be widely beneficial for older adults because they can order products and groceries online, instead of having to go to the store. Mobility is a common issue amongst older adults which can present itself through running errands, such as going to the store. An issue with Amazon and older adults though is that several older adults express the concern of putting personal information online and credit card numbers, but once they are aware that it is confidential, Amazon can assist them in a way they did not know was possible. As concluded in the Peacock & Künemund (2007) study, older adults are deficient on their internet knowledge. However, this issue can be resolved if older adults attend workshops or are taught by a family member on how to navigate the internet and apps such as Amazon and Pinterest.
Research done by Leskova (2016) provided empirical evidence in relation to older adults and grocery store behavior. The research method utilized in this study was surveying (qualitative and quantitative) and within the study there were two focus groups. Within the two focus groups, there were 468 people total who were all over the age of 60. Researchers asked participants about their grocery store experiences and what issues they frequently encountered. The three subcategories concluded from the research were store accessibility, in-store environment, and product-related factors. While in stores, older adults report they have difficulty with narrow aisles, deep freezers, poor signage, lack of resting stops, and shelves that are either too high or too low (Leskova, 2016). After analyzing the study, it is easily concluded that grocery stores do not have the best interest in mind for older adults. Therefore, one solution is that some older adults should begin doing much of their grocery shopping on Amazon Pantry. When older adults grocery shop on Amazon, they have a wide variety of food options and have all the time in the world to complete their grocery shopping. They do not need to reach onto top shelves, wait in long lines, or take breaks. Also, lots of the food offered on Amazon Pantry is healthy and provides several health benefits for older adults.
Older adults can expand their horizon through the use of Pinterest and Amazon. Each app provides several benefits and can offer a great amount of assistance to older adults. The young population in society is greatly familiar with each website and can assist older adults in learning how to navigate each one. Because older adults often encounter difficulty with vision and mobility, they can reduce health risks by accessing Pinterest and Amazon at home. Pinterest and Amazon can be modified to accommodate the needs of older adults but are a great resource that is easily accessible for older adults.
Lesakova, D. (2016). Seniors and Their Food Shopping Behavior: An Empirical Analysis. Elsevier Ltd,220, 243-250. Retrieved April 22, 2017, from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.05.496
Peacock, S. E., & Künemund, H. (2007). Senior citizens and Internet technology. European Journal of Ageing,4(4), 191-200. doi:10.1007/s10433-007-0067-z