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Watch: The World Opens as Seniors Embrace the Internet

Teenage volunteers teach tech to their elders in this inspiring film

By Jill Yanish

Social media isn’t only for the young — that is, once you’ve grasped the concepts of “friend request” and “YouTube.”

A national volunteer-based program called Cyber-Seniors pairs the elderly who want to learn how to use computers and the Internet with digitally-native teenagers as their teachers. A group of the seniors’ first steps into the world of the Internet were captured in the 2014 documentary, Cyber-Seniors. In September, the program will push for 50 places across the U.S. and Canada to screen the film and help spark a new round of cross-generational connections.

This humorous, yet inspiring, documentary shows how being able to navigate the web and use tools such as Facebook and Skype can help the elderly stay connected with friends and family and avoid isolation.

The program bridges a generation gap and helps the elderly keep current, says Tess Finlay, communications director for Cyber-Seniors. “Technology has taken over, and the way we communicate now makes the older adults feel like they're left out in the dust."


Founded in 2012, the Cyber-Seniors program has spread across North America. Anyone can establish a program in a community and request a screening of the documentary as a kick-off event, as well as resources. Thousands of older adults have received training, and over 800 organizations, such as schools, youth groups and senior centers are actively involved in the campaign. Visit their site for more information.

Check out a trailer for the documentary below.

Jill Yanishwas formerly the associate editor for Next Avenue.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University and has written for various Twin Cities publications. Read More
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