Hey, grandma and grandpa, want to live longer?
Learn tech from a teen and keep connected to your family and friends via the Internet, and add a few more years.
An outfit called DoSomething.org, an organization that encourages teens to get involved in, well, something, has partnered with Intel to sponsor the second-annual "Grandparents Gone Wired" campaign, scheduled to run for the next couple of weeks.
Intel, with the help of video comedian iJustine (no, I've never heard of her either), are encouraging teens to reach out to their grandparents and helping to connect young people with seniors in their community to share their tech prowess and help get them started on Facebook, email, Skype and more.
These social media outlets are not just for the young, as I mentioned earlier this week in my New Year's Eve "Top 10 Boomer Cool Technology 2013 Resolutions" post.
According to the "Grandparents Gone Wired" folks, Internet usage among seniors ages 65-plus has increased to 53 percent. Nearly half of all Facebook users are 45 and older, nearly 20 percent 55 and older.
But growth of seniors surfing the Internet and updating social networking sites has slowed because so many seniors are either techphobic or simply consider themselves old dogs who can't learn new tricks.
But for an increasing isolated and less mobile population, learning to stay in touch online (or learning how to make video calls) makes a lot of sense. But seniors benefit from learning computer and social media skills not just for the increased contact with their peers.
Engage with your grandchildren
All grandparents want more interaction with their grandchildren. But grandkids are notoriously bored by stories from your past and references to culture from the 1950s or 1960s they have no knowledge of and, therefore, no interest in.
So, play in their ballpark – gadgets – to engage with your grandkids. And, while you're enjoying time with the young'un, learn a new Internet and social networking skill or two.
After all, if you want to stay young, hang out with young people. According to a study from USC, healthy family relationships can extend a senior's life from three-and-a-half to four years.
Young people who want to participate in this senior pay-it-forward campaign need only visit DoSomething.org and download a guide with tips and tools for teaching seniors how to set up an email account or get them started on Facebook.
If the simple joy of teaching seniors computer skills isn't enough of an incentive, how about a bit of a bribe? All teens who report back after holding a tech session with a senior, or who share a fact about seniors and tech with their friends will be entered to win a $5,000 scholarship.
Plus, Intel is sponsoring a contest for the worst computer setup. The top photos of a nightmare computer system will get an Intel-Inspired Ultrabook, and a second winner will received an Intel-powered tablet.