What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cyber-Seniors is an upbeat documentary that shows how technology can be used to connect generations. Senior citizens are taught how to send email, use Facebook and Skype to connect with families and friends, and even try online dating. Eventually they're encouraged to create their own YouTube videos for the Cyber-Seniors Corner challenge; the topics range from friendship and "tips for picking up" to the creation of a cocktail based on a character in Minecraft. There's not really any iffy content to worry about in this charming movie, which chronicles the struggles and accomplishments of learning to explore the digital world -- and may serve to remind kids to be conscious of what they post on their social media accounts, especially when connected with family members.
What's the story?
Sisters Maucalee and Kasha Casaday -- director Saffron Cassaday's younger siblings -- started the CYBER-SENIORS program as part of a high school project after seeing how technology greatly improved the way their grandparents could communicate with them. In the program, youth mentors visit local retirement residences to teach senior citizens how to navigate the Internet. Although many of the seniors are initially reluctant, they become more tech savvy with each lesson, and a fun YouTube competition lets them showcase their creativity, humor, and wisdom.
Is it any good?
It's refreshing to see technology and social media represented in a positive manner. Cyber-Seniors shows how essential it is for everyone to be able to communicate clearly and stay connected. Teens are often criticized for relying too much on social media, but the Cyber-Seniors program gives them the chance to share their knowledge, while allowing both generations to practice their communication skills -- online and off.
Cassaday captures plenty of humorous moments -- like one cyber-senior trying to use "www.email.com" to send an email -- during the learning process, but the scenes of families connecting via Skype and Facebook are the most heartwarming aspects of this charming documentary.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the way we communicate in today's society. How do you stay in touch with your family and friends? Do you think technology is helping bridge the generation gap?
One cyber-senior notices that her grandchild is using inappropriate language on her Facebook. What are some social media tips that you'd give the cyber-seniors? How about your peers?
Consider finding out whether there's a Cyber-Seniors program in your area and signing up to become a youth mentor.