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posted by Courtney Fleming Apr 06,2016 @ 05:00PM

A meaningful engagement: teaching California retirees how to use Instagram

Last month I had the opportunity to visit Paradise Valley Estates (PVE), a continuing care retirement community and a Riggs Partners client in Fairfield, California. My assignment? Teach PVE residents how to use Instagram.

I’m confident as a digital marketer. I’m fluent in social media and the digital world–but this was a demographic I’d never taught before (70-90+ years old!)

I was an early adopter of Instagram in 2010. This platform changed the course of social media by providing an almost entirely image-based outlet to share our lives and connect with each other. Instagram’s myriad of filters and other photo-editing options can make anyone feel like a professional photographer. I’m not alone in this preference–Instagram continues to gain popularity with more than 44 million monthly users.

As I approached my classroom, I had no idea what to expect. What if they weren’t interested? What if no one showed up? What if what my presentation didn’t make sense? In addition to usual pre-presentation jitters, I worried that differences in age and experience would make my presentation seem scattered and confusing.

Fortunately, all my fears vanished as soon as my students walked in the door. The residents were eager to learn and participate. I was blown away by the level of excitement and energy in the room as they explored their newly created Instagram accounts, learned about hashtags, snapped and edited photos using filters, and tagged their friends and family members.

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Somewhere in between explaining the basics of Instagram’s interface and listening to residents shout out their favorite filters—I realized that I was learning just as much from my students as they were from me. Social media has the power to connect people of all ages and backgrounds and create unforgettable experiences—like mine at PVE.

During my stay, I gained more new friends than I can count, all with unique stories and adventures that they’re now ready to share on Instagram. Want to see for yourself? Follow @paradisevalleyestatesca on Instagram and check out their hashtag, #PVElife.

Topics: Perspectives, Social Media

 

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