Wouldn't it be a kick to meet and converse with like-minded friends without leaving the comfort of your home or, for that matter, at the Senior Center? If so, the World Wide Web offers an expanding galaxy of cyber communities and social networking sites for adventurous seniors.
Whether it's to meet new friends or rediscover old ones, more seniors than ever are surfing through the Internet. The number of seniors age 70 to 75 who use the Internet has doubled since 2005.
There also are more Web sites aimed for older adults, such as Senior.com, Seniorsite.com, ThirdAge.com, Groups.Yahoo.com and SeniorNet.com.
However, before you start clicking your way into these online communities, remember that Internet safety should be your first concern. Here are a few quick tips to remember:
Do not give your full name, address or any other identifiable information. Instead, use a "screen name" just like those old movie stars. (For example, Marion Morrison's screen name was John Wayne.)
If anyone suggests an immediate personal meeting, take a breather to investigate why. First, develop an e-mail exchange with them to get more information about their life, their interest and their interest in you. Next, try talking to each other on the phone, just like the old days.
If you plan to meet someone in person, bring along a friend (or three) and meet in a public place during daytime hours. Remember, 19th century adages still apply in the 21st century. Better safe than sorry!
On July 21, Troy Davis of the Garden City Police Department will be speaking on "Predators and Scams on the Internet" at 1 p.m. I suggest anyone wanting to gain knowledge to make the time to attend this presentation. Just this morning I spoke with two people who do not have computers at home, but use our computer lab regularly. Come out and enjoy our AC and gain important information.
Thursday: TOPS will meet at 8:30 a.m. Art class will meet at 10 a.m. Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m.
Friday: Walking Club meets at Stevens Park at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercise classes are at 10:30 a.m. St. Catherine Hospital will offer a health services nurse to do screenings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m.
Saturday: The pool room will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. The building is rented.
Sunday: No activities scheduled.
Monday: Walking begins at Lee Richardson Zoo at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercise classes are at 10:30 a.m. Humdinger Band will meet at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle is played at 1 p.m. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program board will meet at 1:15 p.m. Upbeats will practice at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge is played at 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. At 1 p.m., a program titled "Online Predators and Scams" will be presented by Troy Davis from the Garden City Police Department, and the public is invited. Duplicate bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. The Senior Association Board will meet at 2 p.m. Bridge is played at 7 p.m.
July 22: Foot clinic offered by St. Catherine Hospital is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (call 272-3620 for an appointment). Line dancing is at 8:30 a.m. There will be a para in the computer lab from 1 to 4 p.m. Pinochle is played at 1 p.m. The Sewing Group meets at 1 p.m. (bring your project and join other "sewers"). The Senior Citizens Association will host a dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The band playing is "Granny Z." Bring finger food for the break.
Lunch is served at noon.
Thursday: Roast pork with gravy, scalloped potatoes, three-bean salad, fruit cup, whole wheat roll.
Friday (Fresh Fruit Friday): Chicken patty, rice, fresh spinach with eggs and bacon, angel food cake with strawberries.
Monday: Chicken fajitas, refried beans, tortilla chips, frosted lime gelatin.
Tuesday: Roast beef, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, California veggie, cherry crisp, whole wheat roll.
July 22: Pork patties, tri-taters, creamy fruit salad, lemon bar, biscuit.
Visit the Senior Center of Finney County Web site at www.seniorcenterfc.com.