The Super Bowl — one of the great spectacles of American sport and society, an excuse to over-consume food and drink that might not be the best for us, and the one day many of us look forward to watching commercials — is also a day that brings together families like few others.
The big game and all the hoopla surrounding it have turned into an unofficial holiday — often an actual holiday in the cities of the game’s participants — one which draws in those who aren’t fans of either team and maybe even not fans of pro football.
Yes, it really is that big.
While families have long talked up the Super Bowl, placed friendly wagers and debated the top commercials, in the past much of that was limited to those who could gather in the same living room, with some additional contact by phone. That’s no longer the case, thanks to technology.
Social Networking Living Room
Today families across the US, including members living or deployed overseas, can watch the game and commercials “together” — chatting, cheering, arguing and even shedding a tear or two — thanks to social media.
Think of the possibilities…
- Connecting via Skype to bridge living rooms and share play-by-play commentary, shouts at the TV and second-guessing of the coaches and officials.
- Tweeting back and forth during and after commercials, debating the merits of the latest Clydesdale adventure versus this year’s nifty trick Doritos, the music on all those car ads and so much more.
- Taking to Facebook to celebrate (or complain about) the song selection and even artist selection for the record long halftime show, maybe sharing a recording of one of the performed songs that was encountered online.
- Pinning pictures of the delicious spread laid out for your festivities so you can compare notes and claim family bragging rights for the best looking and tasting overindulgence.
- Sharing YouTube videos of decorated living rooms, crazed (and likewise decorated) family members, and the impromptu living room football games that just seem to break out, especially during the pregame shows.
- Texting the living room play by play with family members during the game, maybe even Grandpa snoring as the game feels like it’s just dragging on late in the third quarter (Super Bowls too often seem to fall short in living up to the hype — but it is grand hype!).
…and so much more!
Families Together, Even at Great Distances
Families can come together, regardless of the physical distance that separates them, thanks to social media sites and the tablets, smartphones, computers, smart TVs and all the digital devices that so many of us have today.
As we enjoy being “together” for the big game’s festivities, we should remind ourselves that the social networking living room works year round, simply waiting for us to activate it and bring everyone together.
Think about other ways our digital devices and the social media sites can bring us to together for other occasions — or even just because.
- Gatherings of the family for birthday parties when all can’t attend
- Family game nights, joining living rooms and game tables that are far apart
- Celebrations of promotions, good report cards, winning ball games and so much more
- Regular digital “reunions” just to keep the family close across the distance
Do you use social networking to bring the family together? If so, we’d love to have you share it!
Showing Seniors Benefits of Being on Social Media
The social networking living room that brings everyone together for the Super Bowl also provides a fantastic opportunity to show seniors who are not yet online and using social media just what they’re missing.
While a growing number of seniors are online, many others say they don’t see the benefit to them or even feel it’s simply a waste of time. We think many would change that tune if they see how it can bring the family together, especially for those families scattered across the nation and globe.
We’re not suggesting family caregivers show senior loved ones what they’re missing without digital devices and social networking sites and then walk away — not at all. Showing them the possibilities is just the first step.
Senior Care Corner has long advocated that family caregivers and other loved ones not only urge seniors to get online but to help them make it happen. Help them pick out the right digital device for their needs, maybe even giving it to them as a gift. Show them how to use it — safely and securely — to connect with the web and the world around them. Show them what to do when you’re not there to guide them.
Maybe the most important step in getting senior loved ones online and social is giving them ongoing reason to do it, helping them benefit on a regular basis. Schedule regular family get-togethers via social media. Urge family members to share pictures and videos frequently. Encourage loved ones of all ages to connect with seniors online often, messaging on Facebook, sending texts and more.
Help senior loved ones value their time online and the devices that enable it and who knows where they will take it themselves — and just how much joy it will add to their lives and life to the years they have ahead!