Pinterest and Instagram are used through mobile devices by millions of people every day. Pinterest allows users to search through different ideas like recipes for meal to make, style inspiration, art, and decoration. Instagram is used similarly except with Instagram not only can you gain inspiration but you can also share it with friends and family. You can share on Pinterest too however; on Instagram, it is easier to view and navigate. For older adults, this could be a way to gain creativity when they feel uninspired or they are looking for a new hobby. These application can be used to drive older adults away from loneliness, help them gain inspiration, and connection
Sometimes being creative can be difficult when one has hit a wall or feels uninspired. This is where Pinterest could be a solution when it is difficult to come up with any ideas. Pinterest can be accessed on the computer, tablet, and on a smart phone. It is an application that lets users to set up an account with an email. Users can make a variety of different “boards” which they can “pin” their interests to. “Boards” is another way of saying categories. Older adults can use multiple boards to sort their different interests and hobbies. For example, if someone is interested in cooking they can make a board all dedicated to recipes and pin them to that board. Sometimes, there is a link that goes along with something one might see on Pinterest. For examples, if someone were to be interested in making a certain cake, when you pin it to your board, you can then click on the picture itself, and it will take you to the recipe list. Pinterest can make it easier to find what someone is looking for. This is a great way for older adults to stay occupied. Older adults can find a variety of different topics like painting, fashion, drawing, coloring, antiques, and anything else they find interesting. They can also post pictures of their creations on the application and share it with friends and family member.
A study was done by Fisher and Spech (1999), who examined what benefits older adults have when they engage in artistic creative activity in later life. The study had included face-to- face interviews with older adults who have been participating in creating visual arts. These interviews included open ended questions and the interviews lasted for 45 to 60 minutes (Fisher & Spech, 1999). Some older adults had said that you have to continue to live in the moment, continue to express yourself, and accept the fact that you are getting older instead of dreading it (Fisher & Spech). Many aging adults had discussed how you should to start doing things for yourself and finding things that you love because things are changing (Fisher & Spech, 1999).
According to Fisher and Spech (1999) there is a strong relationship between creativity and successful aging. When older adults are productively active with a purpose, this can benefit them in positive ways for their future health and well-being (Fisher & Spech, 1999). Creativity helps individuals develop problem-solving skills, maintain adaptive competence, deepens an understanding of self, and helps individuals find a sense of purpose (Fisher & Spech,1999). Creativity does not only have to be expressed through visual arts, it can be expressed through gardening, writing, and cooking (Fisher & Spech, 1999). When aging adults get in touch with their creative side, they are more likely to find a sense of connection with themselves and feel good about themselves. Pinterest can be used to fulfil the lack of creative ideas. It is very common to struggle with creativity and having something that can inspire creativity can be beneficial. After searching through the application, older adults can start on their journey with creativity. For instance, if someone is having a difficult time getting inspired about what they want to paint with watercolors, they can look up “watercolor paintings” and there will be a ton of results. Pinterest can lead to new creative opportunities for older adults that can be fun and enjoyable.
Since Pinterest is an app that is required to be viewed on a mobile device which some might find difficult to work with due to the screen that the application is on. This app can also be run on a tablet. However, this application is also accessible through a computer which might be a lot easier and more visible, so older adults have three options to pick from when they are browsing the app. It can be easy to learn and easy to navigate for older adults with a bit of assistance.
Instagram is an application that is accessed through a mobile device or a tablet. It a fun way to share pictures or videos that you have taken, made, or edited. You can share creations, old photos, and other things with friends and family members. On this application, you can follow people that may influence you apart from family and friends. For example, if someone enjoyed a certain musician, certain chef, they can follow them and observe what they post on their Instagram page and gain inspiration. Instagram is a great way to connect with people as well, older adults can follow their children or their grandchildren. You can also leave comments on pictures and videos. Also, when one “double taps” on a picture that gives it a “heart” meaning that it was liked. Instagram could be a great way for older adults to connect with their family because many young people are using this application and they can view what other people are posting. It lets people connect from different states and countries. Especially when older adults may be feeling isolated or lonely.
A longitudinal study done with 8,688 participants by McMunn, Banks, and Steptoe (2011) with aging adults ages 50 and older. Social isolation was measured by the amount of contact someone had with someone over the course of a month, this included: phone calls, emails, face-to-face communication, and any other forms of communication (McMunn et al., 2011). Loneliness was measured by asking participants to answer on a scale to which level they may have felt lonely (McMunn et al., 2011). Loneliness is common among older adults because they may be living alone, their family may be far away or hard to contact and other barriers that can keep older adults socially isolated like the inability to travel far distances (McMunn et al., 2011). According to the results, only two percent on adults reported feeling lonely all the time, seven percent reported the highest scores of social isolation (McMunn et al., 2011). The research found that as ages increases, social isolation and loneliness increases and is more common among that population (McMunn et al., 2011). Women reported higher scores of isolation than men (McMunn et al., 2011). When older adults are dealing with social isolation, loneliness, or both, they are more likely to suffer from more health problems like an increase in blood pressure (McMunn et al., 2011). If older adults want to feel more connected, Instagram is a great way to see what family members and friends are up to. It is also easy to access right from home from a tablet or a phone. It would be easier to navigate if the application was accessed on the computer.
Both application can help with creativity and loneliness. When older adults stay creative they will not feel as lonely or sad. When they share what they are up to, they can stay more connected with friends and family on Instagram. If older adults are looking for something new to try out, they should try out Pinterest or Instagram. It is a fun way to gain ideas inspiration, and stay connected. They are applications that can improve daily life because of their content that helps inspire older adults.
Fisher, & Specht. (1999). Successful Aging and Creativity in Later Life. Journal of Aging Studies, 13(4), 457-472. doi:10.1016/S0890-4065(99)00021-3
Shankar, A., McMunn, A., Banks, J., Steptoe, A., & Kazak, Anne E. (2011). Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Behavioral and Biological Health Indicators in Older Adults. Health Psychology, 30(4), 377-385. doi:10.1037/a0022826