Putting the “You” in YouTube

It’s free, informative, funny, educational, and, in general, can add a real kick in your senior tush if you choose to take advantage of all it has to offer. The website, YouTube.com, can be the best advice guru, entertaining expert, creative partner, favorite teacher, and the funniest video provider you’ll ever have. And it’s all free. Lucky us!

Seniors are sort of late to the game of online viewing, and many aren’t familiar with the overwhelming abundance of stuff available to enhance our lives. We are fortunate to live in a time when millions and millions of videos exist (and hundreds of thousands are being added each day!) to help us with whatever we desire. I want to laugh:  watch pets or babies acting silly. I want to learn:  see how an apple crostata is made (which, for me, is better than reading even the simplest of written instructions). I need a friend:  I just type “how to get new friends” in the subject line and video suggestions appear.

For the purpose of this blog post, I even typed, “YouTube videos senior citizens would enjoy,” and got dozens showing old people doing hip hop or performing flash mobs or imitating Michael Jackson or Bruno Mars in Uptown Funk.

However, to limit yourself to just what elders are interested in is a crime.

Here are some suggestions for ways to utilize YouTube as the powerful resource it is:

~How-to Tutorials:

Need to figure out how to change the clock in your make of car backward or forward an hour at Daylight Saving Time? What about changing the bag in your vacuum cleaner or making a terrarium or an origami crane?  What if you need help with something on your iPad, iPhone, laptop, computer, or any other tech device, appliance, gadget, or toy? Yep, it’s all there on YouTube, in video form.

~Fun and Entertainment:

One of the best features of YouTube is all the entertaining videos that are available. I listen to classical music exclusively on YouTube. And when I’m sort of down, I’ll check out the crazy cat videos that make me laugh every time. If you want to learn Mah Jong, or Scrabble, or any other known game, there’s a video that shows you how it’s done. YouTube is getting into the TV entertainment business and new program series are beginning to become available – critically acclaimed programs!

~Exercise and Health:

This is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t want to see videos about various medical conditions? I want to check to make sure that spot on my calf isn’t skin cancer. And while YouTube in no way takes the place of medical advice, I can get some ideas about what I might be dealing with. If I need to see exactly where to place my fingers on my wrist to get my pulse, I can see how in a video. If I want some exercises or yoga stretches specifically for someone with spinal stenosis, they’re there on YouTube. It goes on and on.

~Spiritual Connection and Inspiration:

Finally, I’ve found so many wonderful videos about gratitude, Buddhism, spirit animals, favorite spiritual retreats, what to say to a friend who has just received bad news, increasing compassion, or how to be a better friend. YouTube has helped me expand my spiritual practice and increased my calmness while relieving stress.

It’s all there.

Whatever you want or need to expand your knowledge, gain insight, and grow from is worth checking out YouTube. And I’ll bet your kids and grandkids use YouTube all the time.

So, give it a try if you haven’t. You just might find something that helps or entertains you.