Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Nov. 12, 2014

Cyber-Seniors: Connecting Generations

In our day to day lives, we see an ever-growing reliance on technology to assist in the ways in which we communicate with one another. It's not to say that this is a bad thing or a good thing - it is what it is, but it is a fact. We are currently seeing the greatest generation gap since Rock n’ Roll, due to this digital divide. There is the generation of older adults who have lived most of their lives without these gadgets and then there is the younger generation who was born into this new world of modern technology. In a way, it’s as if these two groups are speaking different languages. So what can be done to bridge this digital divide and assist in the reconnection of two very different generations? With the help of the Cyber-Seniors campaign, hopefully a lot!

Cyber-Seniors- Connecting Generations campaign is a program that pairs tech-savvy youth mentors with interested senior citizens to catch them up to speed with today’s gizmos and gadgets. The program helps to re-connect these seniors with their family, friends and community, proving it’s never too late to learn something new. The Cyber-Seniors program began as a high school project that sisters, Macaulee (16) and Kascha (18) launched in 2009, resulting in a documentary that shows the positive and transformative impact the program has had. The sisters witnessed firsthand how learning to use the internet had transformed their grandparents’ lives. After learning some basic skills, the internet became a very helpful and instrumental tool in keeping their family connected despite busy schedules and living in different cities. Inspired by this realization, the sisters recruited a few of their classmates and started the Cyber-Seniors program to help seniors get online and re-connect.

Get Involved!

There are number of great ways to get involved and bring the Cyber-Seniors campaign to your community:

  • Start an intergenerational club at your school – If you’re a youth or educator, rally up a few other students and team up with a local retirement home once a week to answer their tech-related questions or teach them how to use a new piece of technology each month.
  • Host a movie screening night at a local retirement home or recreation centre and invite the whole community out – Whether you’re an interested individual or organization, this is a great way to bring the community together and lead a discussion afterwards around some important issues we face in the online world today while promoting your brand.
  • Become a partner – Your organization can help bring the Cyber-Seniors movement to your community by sponsoring a community screening event or setting up a grant program.
  • Become a Cyber-Senior or mentor – Check out the online registry to find out who else in your community has started a Cyber-Seniors program, or if not inquire into starting up a local chapter.

For more information on the Cyber-Seniors documentary or campaign and for free downloadable resources, please visit www.cyerseniorsdocumentary.org.