I found an article on Dr. Mercola’s website titled: 12 Surprising Signs You’ll Live To 100

One of the “surprising signs” is:

You embrace techie trends

Learn to Twitter, Facebook, or Skype to help keep brain cells young and healthy. Stay connected to friends, family, and current events, and you feel vital and relevant.

I like the part where he says, “you feel vital and relevant”. That’s important in everyone’s life.

Today’s Lesson

Speaking of using our brains, according to an article on the University of Connecticut Health Center site,

“The old adage of ‘use it or lose it’ is very important. For cognitive activity, which affects everything from memory to how we think, there is increasing evidence that the more we use our brain, the better we age….”

Some of you who are young may not take this into consideration, but for bloggers from the baby boomer generation and beyond, it’s important we think of how we’re using our brains. How we’re exercising them.

Fortunately blogging does that.

  1. It keeps us connected.
  2. It gives us something to look forward to
  3. We read more
  4. We write more
  5. We think more
  6. We learn more.

Another plus to blogging; age is not a factor.

Take for example, the following three women who held the title as “The World’s Oldest Blogger”; women who were in their 90’s and 100’s.

The one I remember best, because I had visited her blog, is Olive Riley (1899-2008). Although her blog is no longer online, you can see video clips of her on YouTube.

María Amelia López Soliño (1911-2009) was another blogger who held the title and was written about in this article; Spanish granny dubbed ‘world’s oldest blogger’ dies.

In one of her last postings in February [2009] she said: “When I’m on the Internet, I forget about my illness. The distraction is good for you — being able to communicate with people. It wakes up the brain, and gives you great strength.”

According to Wikipedia, Ruth Hamilton (1898-2008) was also named “the world’s oldest blogger”.

Unfortunately the above three bloggers have died, but others are following in their footsteps. We have,

  1. Life Begins At 80
  2. A blog written by a 91 year old retired journalist.

  3. Bisher Unleashed
  4. Written by Furman Bisher, a well-regarded sportswriter and editor who was born in 1918.

  5. Granny To The Rescue,
  6. A blog written by Eleanor McCallum, a woman in her early eighties.

These elderly folks probably aren’t worried about being included with A-List bloggers, but their commitment to blogging shows us it’s never too late to go online, share our knowledge and in the process continue to use our brains.

Today’s Assignment:

How has blogging improved your mental processes?

Are you following the writings of any elderly bloggers?

Care to share?

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  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    That’s a good question, Barbara.

    In my experience, blogging has improved my writing skills, but I’m not so sure about the mental processes. I seem less able to concentrate because there is so much information out there to absorb. Blogging is like another life and it’s one not easily shared with friends who are not online. When I take breaks from the online world my mental process gets clearer, lol. Maybe too much of a good thing?

    I do agree with the principles about keeping ourselves “young” by using our brains, but not 100% in agreement that blogging is the right medium for that. Maybe in moderation and perhaps intent has a lot to do with it. When activities are fun we tend to learn and connect better. When they become duties or addictions I think we lose something of that connection.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      I agree. Moderation is key, not only with blogging, but time spent online. Like you said, we can experience information overload, and although keeping our brains active is good, it may defeat the purpose if we’re overdosing on it.

  2. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Blogging certainly keeps your brain active.
    It demands that you learn some of the technical skills (wordpress, html, css) and the writing / social skills.
    I started with a little technical knowhow via static sites and moved over to WordPress when I saw how powerful it is and what great themes are out there.

    I don’t think that I follow any elderly bloggers – but who knows?
    Those Avatars could be of anyone. LOL

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      That’s true, isn’t it? With blogging it’s more than just writing and publishing. Needing to learn the backend stuff becomes imperative and is also another way to stretch the brain.

      LOL about the avatars. You’re right, we never know for sure, do we?

  3. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I love this – how you have highlighted how blogging can keep us feeling vital and relevant!!

    Blogging really is great at this – and can help to do that, at any age. So, very cool – that there are people who are getting up there in years, out there doing this – and finding meaning in all of that…

    I would say that blogging has been so good for me in keeping more mentally active. And in that, I really believe that I also know myself better now.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      That’s a good point. Blogging can teach us how to get to know ourselves better and to become better people.

      I think it also helps when we read blogs written by others who have “been there” and we get to learn from them.

  4. Hi Barbara,
    I have to agree to every word you have written here. I for one believe blogging has enriched my life like no other. I might be in my early 30’s but still, the brain can get lethargic. And blogging has helped me immensely..to stay vigil(mentally).
    To learn more…to connect with people of similar interests….to just know its ok to be who you are ..just as you are! How so very awesome is that? I’m in love with blogging…cause its now quite frankly my intellectual necessity. I have actually started reading so much more..and so much more faster than before. Almost 80-100 blogs a week…is a lot of info to take in na….but my mind loves it..and i love the challenge.
    I’m happy to have found this medium, a medium that has truly enriched, enhanced and brightened up my life like no other.
    Whatever my age….I know my great grand kids will think I’m all cool and hip cause I have this awesome blog…;) Nothing beats being the cool granny na…
    Such a wonderful topic Barbara….you are awesome!
    Much love,
    Z~

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Zeenat,

      It’s good to hear from someone who is younger and not necessarily worried about exercising but finding value in the process.

      That’s a good point about learning how to read faster, especially when trying to visit dozens of blogs each week. That’s also a trait that can transfer into real like as well.

  5. Now this is a good question. Blogging has given me consistency (in writing regularly), improved my writing (I am given the tag of a person who writes very long sentences and blogging is helping me to review and rework on that consciously), lovely blogger friends who also double as good critics and many other things.

    I think writing and commenting enables one to jog the grey cells. Now if you call that improving mental processes, then it is.

    I do follow the blogs of some elderly bloggers and viewing life from their side is definitely enriching and educating.

    Lovely thoughts as always, Barbara :)

    Joy and peace,
    Susan

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Susan,

      That’s true, isn’t it? When we read blog posts and want to leave a comment, it does take using our “gray matter” to construct value based comments.

      Like you, I also enjoy learning from elderly folk and listening to stories of their experiences.

  6. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    “How has blogging improved your mental processes?”

    I know now I can write faster and developing a post is easier; at the beginning it was a struggle to come up with ideas while now I can even leave posts for future publishing; definitely my brain is working better when it comes to blogging related activities.

    “Are you following the writings of any elderly bloggers?”

    I didn’t choose to follow a blogger because of his/her age but rather their content; but definitely will check out those you mention.

    Interesting post Barbara; and the bigger part I believe is that it teach us to simply “shut up” when we tend to complain that we are too old to learn these new technologies; if grandma can do it why not us? And if it helps to keep our brains fresh and “oiled”, then let’s do it!

    I’m not scared about Alzheimer because I forgot what it is :)

    Raul

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      Isn’t that amazing how that happens? When we look back to the early days of blogging, things were a lot more difficult. But with practice, we become more proficient.

      I like what you said about if grandma can do it, why are we complaining? To me that says there’s a lot to be learned from those who came before us.

  7. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    How has blogging improved your mental processes? That’s hard to say, since I’ve been blogging, in one blog or more, since 2004, three years before I retired. I guess I’d have to say that it’s a form of mental exercise — maintaining my mental fitness.

    Are you following the writings of any elderly bloggers? Betty Reid Soskin, in her late 80s, the oldest employee of the National Park Service.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      Good point. When we’ve been blogging for years, it’s hard to tell if it has helped since it’s now a way of life, but like you said, it does help us to maintain our mental fitness.

      I checked out Betty’s site. I can see why you like it as it looks to be a site worth delving into.

  8. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Sometimes learning curves are fun. Sometimes they are a pain. My blogging learning curves have been both, but they expand me in either case.

    Elderly bloggers? Ha! Right now I feel like one.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re funny Lori,

      But I know what you meant…some days… 😉

      That’s true, isn’t it? The learning curves we encounter in blogging expand our brains whether we want them to or not.

  9. ValNo Gravatar says:

    It’s difficult to know whether blogging keeps my mind alert as I’m on BP reducing meds that tend to make a previously alert mind pretty fogged! However, prior to taking them, and before post-middle age began to encroach and menopause began to abate, my blogging and blog reading was marginally less than it is now and I think I did okay. I crave information, I’m an info-junkie and find it online and in books, but online is my learning-place of preference. I spend more time in blogs (my own and other people’s) than on other sites, so I might well be missing out on other sources of mind-energizing input. I do also like reading techno sites, and blogs like this, it gives the synapses something to do!

    As for elderly people’s blogs, there is one that I used to read but don’t have as much patience for now. Well, I say it’s by elderly people, but I’m actually not so sure – it might be ghost written. It’s quite well known: Helen and Margaret

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Val,

      I like your idea of reading/visiting sites of all kinds. I think by doing so, we expand our knowledge base and challenge our learning process. I’m guessing if we add video and podcasts to our list, that would help, too.

      I hadn’t hear of Helen and Margaret, but having clicked over to their site, I can see it’s a fun read.

  10. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, there IS one elderly blogger I follow…religiously.

    http://crabbyoldfart.wordpress.com/

    I highly recommend him.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      Thank you for the heads up on “Crabby Old Fart”. I read a couple of his posts and must say, they get me laughing.

  11. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    Olive rocked! 😀

    Yup, I’m afraid I’ve already lost all me marbles, so it’s too late for me. But at least blogging gives me the illusion that my brain isn’t just a glorified mass of jello!

    I’m not sure of the Count’s actual age, but he’s a brilliant elderly chap whose blog I’ve been following for a while. He has the driest humour I’ve ever come across… the kind of humour that gives you credit for having a couple of brain cells to rub together. You can find him here:

    http://countsneakysjournal.blogspot.com/

    Oh. Well. Then I guess that means I’m not a total loss after all! 😛

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      Yes. Wasn’t that a great video of Olive? I’ll bet she was a real joy to be around.

      I just checked out the Count’s blog. What a great find. Like you, I enjoy his sense of humor and the photos/images he includes in his posts.

  12. Barbara,
    I’m not sure I want to live until 100! However what has blogging done for me? It keeps me sane! I was losing hope 5 years ago for our world. Since blogging I have no time for doom and gloom. The bloggers I’ve met online are wonderful. In my off line life it would have taken a life time to find this many like minded friends. I’ll have my two year anniversary on Halloween and I’m celebrating big this time! I better get planning.

    I’m constantly encouraged to grow, expand and think differently.

    I’m not real good with technology and may not ever be but I get along with a little help from my friends;) I’ve had the opportunity to meet several blogging friends in person and in Oct. I’m going to meet at least 2 more!

    Do I want to make money on line? Absolutely. Does my happiness depend on it…heck no! I just love everything about blogging my new friends and the new world we’re establishing through all of this. And I’m getting goose bumps or “Truth Bumps” as I call them.

    I may not stop and comment here all the time…but I’m out there lurking! xo

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      HI Tess,

      It’s good to see you again. I know what you’re saying. When we’re online we don’t have time for the doom and gloom we hear about on TV. Instead we can visit blogging buddies who are positive and upbeat and spread joy.

      That’s exciting you’ve met other bloggers in the real world. I remember reading a post of yours where you wrote about the experience and by the sounds of it, lots of memories were made.

      Keep lurking. I’ll see you again soon. xo

  13. BekaNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging is the new crossword puzzle for me. It helps keep my brain sharp. I used to write back in college but worked at a job that requires me to do just one thing. So in a way, I felt that my mental capacities suffered. But when I started blogging, I was researching and writing about topics that I didn’t know about. It helped me greatly.

    I haven’t been following any elderly bloggers lately. Maybe I should do it again.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Beka,

      Ah, crossword puzzles. Those are fun, hey? But like you said, when we start blogging, our brains get plenty of exercise with research and writing.

  14. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. Blogging has definitely educated me – literally .. in history, geography, lots of discliplines – I knew tiny bits about – I don’t know a lot now – but certainly a lot more!

    Technically I’m learning an awful lot too .. so again being online one pick up technical aspects ..

    Educating myself from others’ interesting blogs

    Improving myself via self- and personal development, as well as spiritual learning ..

    …. so much – that I’m achieving, while being able to be with my mother .. now I know I could not have achieved as much as I’ve done in 2009/10 if it had been the year 2,000 …

    On top of which I’ve met some fantastic friends, many of which I’d love to meet one day .. as one can blog and travel .. and with the right product earn as you go … my aim!

    Thanks – I’m using it … and probably losing it too .. but I don’t think so .. just aging slightly ..

    The Old Geezer Blog is great … Ron -http://ronjoewhite.blogspot.com/2010/08/online-friends-and-blogger-buddies.html … and he’s got 956 followers – it would take ten – twenty of us bloggers to reach those eminent numbers ..

    There are others … me being one of them?! Byeee Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      That’s true. When we blog, we’re able to learn so much, not only on topics we enjoy but even topics we thought we had no interest in.

      And yes, we also get to meet wonderful people online, too. Like you said, someday it’d be fun to meet them all.

      I checked out The Old Geezer Blog. Great find, and you’re right, he’s quite popular. *smiles*

  15. I’m not sure. I actually see blogging as something relatively superficial and as something that encourages a short attention span, so this is encouraging to me!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Hmmmm. I never thought of blogging like you described it. I know for me learning the back end stuff needs much more that a short attention spam, so from that aspect I see blogging as being quite challenging.

  16. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    My mum was Ruth Hamilton and she was on the Internet until age 93..Sharp mind, own teeth and 20/20 vision right up to the end…
    That was fun to read about another RH… My mum did not blog

    I think this is very important information – if we are to be whole people, we need to exercise and use the whole of us…

    Great idea sharing…

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      How ironic your mom was also named Ruth Hamilton. When I first read your comment I thought they were one in the same. :)

      Yes. It is important we exercise more than just our muscles. Our brains need it too.

      P.S. I hope you had a very Happy Birthday!

      • PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

        a lovely birthday thank you….My mum was usually the only one to remember it – I was so surprised when so many commented and the massage was just perfection :) Thank you for your good wishes.

  17. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. Patricia brings up a good point .. my mother I think would have loved to blog .. but regardless of that – she loves my blog and the fact that I have interaction, about her as well, from around the world .. people who send their hugs and best wishes and love to her – she couldn’t and can’t believe it. Now it is tricky as she can’t hear – I do hope it comes back .. having said that ..

    she knows that I gain great pleasure out of the blog & she doesn’t forget the word! She loves the pictures .. and even comments if they’re out of context .. as I used in Speedy Gonzales and the English rushing north to quell the insurging Danes before returning to win, but lose in the aftermath and rush downhill to the waiting Normans .. and thus England became England! She said that’s not right! – how correct she was.

    So I think blogs could be used for any number of other attributes of life – let alone for us bloggers and our particular projects .. my mother loves the pictures .. and now telling murder mysteries – if and when she can hear again ..

    food for thought .. ‘what could blogs be used for’?

    Thanks Patricia and Barbara .. you brought up a good idea .. Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      That’s a good point. Blogs could be used for more than just how we use them. The elderly, if they’re so inclined, could use a blog to share stories from the past and create a living legacy for their family.

      I also think having a blog would be a great activity for the elderly just to exercise the brain. And if the elderly couldn’t type, they could dictate their words to someone who could. (That’s what Olive did)

  18. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    You know, you have to admire the elderly for just figuring out how to blog when computers were not even available to them in their younger years. As for keeping us boomers brains agile and constantly thinking, you bet your sweet bippy!

  19. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda,

    Isn’t that the truth? When we think of all the elderly folk had to learn, I commend them when they also take on the computer, as well. In fact, I get a kick out of those who are older who say, “I’ll email you with that information.” *smiles*

  20. My own grandmother (who passed away at 97), was never introduced to the Internet. But up to her nineties she read often and wrote my aunt long letters of concern and love. I guess that was one reason why she reached a ripe old age. When I read this post, I remembered her. Kudos to our “old” bloggers out there!

  21. Wow! This is another learning for me. This was my first time to read this kind of story. Well, that’s a good exercise for them .They did not to remain idle at their age. They are thinking that they can still do what they had done before. I’m hoping that I will be like this as well if I get old. My mind is still active and imaginative. That I can mingle with other people and gain a lot of friends. It’s good to know this. Thanks for the post.=)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Lyan,

      Isn’t that wonderful knowing some of the elderly folk keep active and aren’t afraid to learn new stuff? They just change with the times and don’t let anything get them down. Like you said, it would be great to be the same way when we get old, too. *fingers crossed*

  22. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Well this was just WONderful! Love hearing that first of all there are people older than ME blogging – haha – but the whole point is for heaven’s sake don’t act your age! Lousy advice isn’t it? I have friends my age that do nothing but talk about their oldness and illness. I don’t sit still long enough for dust to settle on my shoes! Keeping “up” with things is a full time occupation at this stage – what better stuff is there to do?
    hugs
    suzen

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Oh Suzen, you’re funny,

    I LOVE your attitude. And I agree; keeping up with technology, blogging or …., is a great way to stay young and not worry about “the years”. :)

  24. I completely agree to the every word you have written here, thanks for sharing.

  25. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I like that. It’s never to late to go online … and it’s never to late to start the next chapter of your life.

    One of my favorite Hallmark cards from long back was, today is the first day of the rest of your life. How true is that. Every day.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      I like that saying too. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” I agree. It’s never too late.