Social seniors log-on to Facebook

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Don't think it's just your kids or younger relatives chatting online. Seniors age 65 and older are the fastest growing demographic on social media according to Pew Research Center.

At the age of 81 Jerry Berntsen said he's always wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology and has a nickname to prove it.

“I’ve always been known as an inspector gadget," said Berntsen. "I've always got the latest in everything."

He has an iPhone, iPad and laptop.

Berntsen said he logs on to Facebook at least once a day to stay in contact with his four kids, eight grandchildren and seven great grand kids. He also chats online with family in Scotland.

“I use Facebook to stay close to my family. Sometimes they might not invite you to something because its all done on Facebook," he added.

The inspector made his profile in December of 2008. Berntsen said he did that on his own, but he's had trouble getting his neighbors at the retirement community to join him.

“Most of them say I don’t have idea or know anything about it and I don’t want to know anything about it," said Berntsen. "Some people are afraid they’re going to turn it on and they’re going erase something and ruin it."

He estimates only about one percent of his fellow residents are on Facebook.

The Sanctuary at St. Paul's Retirement Community said it recently added WiFi to the facility for residents.

A spokesperson said they get more questions in the office about working iPads rather than iPhones.

Berntsen said he's always happy to help his friends with technology. He encourages everyone to inspect what's happening on social media because of the benefits of interacting with family across the world.

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