Reluctant seniors discover the wonders of the Internet with help from teenage mentors. A humorous and heartwarming feature documentary, CYBER-SENIORS adds to the important international conversation about the growing generation gap.
Focusing on a group of senior citizens who take their first steps into cyber-space under the tutelage of teenage mentors, the film expertly renders a thought-provoking look at a spirited group of men and women who are enriched by digitally re-connecting with their families and each other. Finding their footing rather quickly, the group moves on to compete for the most YouTube views while swiftly building their online inventory of friends.
The idea for the Cyber-Seniors documentary came from a high school project that was launched by two sisters, Macaulee (16) and Kascha Cassaday (18) in 2009. The sisters had witnessed firsthand how learning to use the Internet had transformed their grandparents’ lives. After learning some basic skills, their grandparents were in touch several times a week by email, Facebook and Skype. The Internet was instrumental in keeping their family connected despite busy schedules and living in different cities. Inspired by this realization, the sisters started the Cyber-Seniors program to help other seniors get online.
They developed a training manual and recruited their friends to visit a local retirement home twice a week to teach interested seniors how to use the Internet. The seniors all had different interests. Some were eager to get onto Facebook to see photos of their grandkids, while others wanted to play online games, and everyone wanted to use email.