Increasingly, our relationships with family members happen at a distance. While I live in Canada, my parents and sister are in Melbourne, Australia and my brother and his family in Sydney, Australia. I have aunts, uncles and cousins across Canada and in the UK. We are a widely dispersed bunch and I would not, except for my parents, siblings, and me, call us close.
Distance has not made a difference for one relationship. The newest member of the tribe, Finn, my nephew, is three and lives in Sydney, Australia. My mum travels from Melbourne to see her grandson as much as she can, but she makes sure to maintain her connection when she is not there with frequent Skype calls.
Where once a child’s relationships with their grandparent, if they lived in different cities, was limited Christmas visits, now a deep bond can grow with easy to use video chat, online games and social media tools. Intergenerational relationships have a new lease on life – online.
Much of this is facilitated by the increasing number of people aged over 55 that are not only coming online, but are also embracing social media. In a study of the digital landscape in Canada, comScore (2010) found that those over 55 were the strongest drivers in social networking growth in Canada (Comscore).
It’s really wonderful when you find that what you are reading about in the academic world is already living and breathing on Tyze. We have networks that are sharing their family history by posting stories and photos – a virtual history book – with involvement from generations young and old.
So celebrate Intergenerational Day by posting a story and some photos on your Tyze network about your grandparent or grandchild.
The folks at i2i intergenerational society ( http://www.intergenerational.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1) are celebrating with events all over Vancouver Island. See if there is one near you! If you can’t get down to an event then take a moment for these three things:
To celebrate intergenerational day, do 3 things for sure…
1. THINK ABOUT AN OLDER OR YOUNGER PERSON
2. ACT BY SMILING, PHONING, SPEAKING OR VISITING WITH THEM
3. REMEMBER, THESE SMALL POSITIVE RESPECTFUL ACTS ARE THE
NUMBER 1 PREVENTION OF MISTREATMENT OF OLDER ADULTS AND ALL AGES.
comScore report – http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2011/2010_Canada_Digital_Year_in_Review
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