Cyber-Seniors

  • Review Date: May 9, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Technology connects generations in charming documentary.
  • Review Date: May 9, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Age(i)

2
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9
10
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Technology isn't something to be afraid of; it can be embraced as a way to stay connected with friends and family. The youth mentors and seniors show that clear communication and patience are needed to learn something new. Kids will also be reminded to be conscious of what they post on their social media accounts, especially when connected with family members.

Positive role models

Kids may be inspired to become youth mentors in a Cyber-Seniors program or get involved in another kind of community service. The cyber-seniors also show kids that you're never too old to learn something new.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

One cyber-senior tries online dating and creates a YouTube video with her youth mentor about "tips for picking up." 

Language

No profanity, but one cyber-senior friends her grandchild on Facebook and notices that she uses inappropriate language in her posts.

Consumerism

The youth mentors show their cyber-seniors how to use Facebook, Skype, YouTube, and email on both Apple products -- iPhone, iPad, MacBook -- and PC laptops. Minecraft also plays a role in the video competition.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Shura and Max create a cocktail called the Creeper -- which is modeled after a character in Minecraft -- for their YouTube video. The cyber-seniors are able to try her drink when they find out the results of the competition.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 9, 2014
Cast:Shura Eadie, Ellard Yeo, Annette Rapoport
Director:Saffron Cassaday
Studio:Area23a
Genre:Documentary
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Cyber-Seniors was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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