Teaching old dogs new tricks

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The holidays are a time for families to come together, celebrate, and of course, share their Thanksgiving dinner on Instagram.

That's why DoSomething.org and the AARP Foundation's Mentor Up have joined forces for the second year to launch Grandparents Gone Wired, a campaign that encourages teens across the country to use their tech knowledge to connect older adults with current technology trends and prepare them for independent technology use.

Depression affects more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans ages 65 or older and studies have shown that Internet use reduces the risk of depression by 34 percent in older adults. Currently, 98 percent of 18-29 year olds use the Internet, as opposed to only 56 percent of 65+ adults. DoSomething.org and Mentor Up are harnessing young people who have grown up texting and tweeting to increase the quality of life of older Americans and help them connect with loved ones.

The campaign runs through Jan. 4th. Young people who sign up at DoSomething.org/Grandparents will receive tips on how to teach older adults how to use different technology platforms including: smartphones, email, video chat, social media, and music streaming/playlists. Young people who sign up and share a picture of themselves teaching an older adult how to use technology will be entered to win a $10,000 scholarship.

YouTube personality iJustine recorded a public service announcement for the campaign as "The Great Update," a Super-ish hero that isn't great at fighting crime, but is great at turning old technology into new technology.

"I can't imagine going one day without using the Internet to stay connected with friends and family," said iJustine. "I love working with DoSomething.org and Mentor Up for Grandparents Gone Wired because young people are the perfect tech teachers and using the Internet to stay in touch is second nature for them."

To view the PSA, visit:http://youtu.be/sR8wAcavHpg

"This year, we expect a lot of Instagram(ma) #tbt pics, senior Snapchat stories, and some great throwback playlists on Spotify," said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at DoSomething.org. "This campaign lets young people share a skill that's such a huge part of their lives to help improve the lives of older adults."

YouTube personality Kevin Droniak, known for his videos with his grandmother, is also supporting the campaign with original content on his popular YouTube channel thiskidneedsmedicine.

"Through our Mentor Up initiative, AARP Foundation is committed to growing and supporting intergenerational programs that help vulnerable older adults stay connected to their friends, families and communities," said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, AARP Foundation president. "We love Grandparents Gone Wired because it's an engaging and effective way for young people to volunteer their time while helping seniors learn how to use technology to enhance their everyday lives."

For more information, visitDoSomething.org/grandparents.

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