Social media is often criticized for its tendency to isolate people behind their computer screens, limiting their face-to-face, real world interactions. But for one group, Americans 65 and older, it can have a different effect.
A recent Michigan State University study showed that Internet use by those of retirement age actually reduces the chances of depression by more than 30 percent. This comes from an increased ability to communicate and stay connected with friends and family who may not live nearby. Those living alone showed the greatest reduction in depression rates.
But the researchers stressed that, as in all things, moderation is the key. The best way to stay connected with your social network is a combination of social media use and actually being with your loved ones. In this way, social media enhances your connections rather than replacing them.