Social media “Grandfluencers” wisdom is for all ages
Yiayia Nitsa, the social media influencer born in Kastoria, has taken the internet by storm as a “grand fluencer”. And she’s not the only 70 year old to do that. Photo credit: Facebook / Yiayia Nitsa
Do you think social media is for young people who seem only interested in celebrities and the latest beauty treatment? Think again about how many 60- and 70-year-old “grand fluencers” are taking the internet by storm with their wit, wisdom and insight into the world around them.
These men and women are only too willing to share what they have learned via social media and to impart their extensive knowledge – sometimes with a good pinch of humor on the side.
Yiayia Nitsa, a Greek grandmother who is not afraid to share her thoughts on the world, has her own Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel. Speaking in English of her granddaughter’s insistence, she asks, “WHY ?? It is very, very bad to refuse blood! ”(Means“ culture ”in this sense). Although she struggles with English at times, Yiayia Nitsa’s meaning is easily understood by anyone, which makes her appeal surprisingly universal to someone so very traditional.
Usually she talks to her granddaughter who stimulates her with ideas that she likes to expand on, she speaks with utter devotion and honesty and does not seem to understand how humorous she is when explaining life.
Yiayia Nitsa’s observations about men – many of which are unprintable – are based on her belief that most men today are unworthy companions and only one in a million of them is good enough to marry. “If I am born again – not men!” She says with particular emphasis, recalling the days when she was beaten and mistreated by a former husband.
After that, she got along very well without a husband, explains the Yiayia.
Other social media grand fluencers in their 70s like to share their knowledge and experiences with others in the field of health.
By the time she reached 71, Joan MacDonald was in real trouble. She was overweight and was taking a variety of medications for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and kidney problems.
Her daughter Michelle, who is a fitness instructor, warned her, “On the verge of tears,” she says that if she doesn’t do anything about it, she would eventually become a disabled person.
And that’s exactly what Joan did when she walked into a gym for the first time in her life in her seventh decade and even learned to eat better with the help of a brand new tool for her, an iPhone.
Just four years later, at 75, MacDonald has the physique of a bodybuilder – and she has 1.4 million followers on Instagram who follow her progress with her. And many of them are, of course, much younger than them.
Joan is part of a social media wave of seniors who have carved out a new niche for themselves as grand fluencers and who attract the younger generation with their honest wisdom and self-deprecating humor.
Joan of course also has her own Facebook page and YouTube channel, and her website “Train with Joan” is a destination for those of a certain age who have decided to bite the bullet and get back in shape .
Positive role models for younger generations
“It’s so rare to find someone your age who can do all of these things,” said one of her followers, 18-year-old Marianne Zapata from Larchmont, New York, in an interview with the Associated Press. “It’s just so positive to think about it.”
Not only has the seventy-year-old changed physically, she has also started a new career as a result of her transformation, with paid partnerships with sportswear brand Women’s Best and stress-relieving equipment maker Sensate.
She used to have no use of digital technology at all, but now she has her own health and fitness app that people can download for tips and exercise plans.
In order not to be outdone by young women in the beauty department, other 70 year olds are focusing on this aspect of style, giving online tutorials that hit huge numbers on social media that they didn’t even see about a decade ago had heard.
Coronavirus has changed the social media landscape
78-year-old Lagetta Wayne has 130,500 followers on the TikTok platform. She uses her platform to not only explore beauty tips and tricks, but also to share scenes from her beautiful garden. With the handle @msgrandmasgarden on TikTok, she shares her kitchen tips and cuts and dices her own vegetables from her home in California.
She just joined the platform in June of last year and garnered 37,600 likes for her first garden tour. Like many older social media influencers, Wayne was first introduced to the media by her grandchildren – in her case, her granddaughter.
“One day my garden was very pretty and I was really excited and asked her if she would take some pictures of me,” Wayne recalls. “She said she would put me on TikTok and I said, well, what is TikTok? I had never heard of it before. “
Contrary to popular belief, most people over the age of 50 use technology to keep in touch with friends and family, according to a 2019 AARP survey. However, less than half of these people use social media for this purpose, with the majority from them with facebook.
But the coronavirus changed everything, and over the past year and a half, social media usage has grown exponentially as our physical horizons have shrunk for a while. According to AARP senior vice president Alison Bryant, much of the content they’re looking for is for people their ages.
They show that anyone can do these things “
“They show that anyone can do these things, that there is no need to be afraid of aging. The 20- and 30-year-olds don’t think about it often, “said Bryant.
“The authenticity that we see in some of these older influencers is really refreshing. That’s part of the complexity of their narratives. They bring other parts of their lives into it. They are grandparents and great grandparents and spouses. They feel more comfortable in their own skin. “
Fitness expert MacDonald said she was initially surprised that people actually cared about what she had to say.
“Why would people want to follow an old woman,” she laughed when interviewed from her home in Ontario, Canada. “My daughter Michelle cleared that up. She said it is what you are advocating, that people can do what they think they can’t, or that they are told they can’t. “
An even more heartwarming part of this social media wave is that many of these seventy year olds are teaming up with their grandchildren to share their adventures with the world.
Mae Karwowski, founder and CEO of the influencer marketing agency “Obviously”, has over 100 influencers between the ages of 60 and 80 in her network.
“Mainstream media, I would say, has a very narrow view of this age group. The great thing about social media is that you can follow a really cool 75 year old woman who’s doing her thing in Florida right now and that’s fun. That is different. And it’s funny, “says Karwowski and adds:” The 21-year-old model influencer is managed. She has a team.
“She has designers who attack themselves to give her everything. She has professional photographers. Many of these over 70 influencers do everything. “