In November 2017, Facebook announced the early stages of its Mentorship and Support product. Initially limited to education and crisis recovery groups, the platform has been expanding into other select sectors to build strong, supportive communities. For digitally connected seniors, this development establishes another opportunity for connectivity, fulfillment, and legacy.
Making Group Connections
According to an August 2018 update, the Mentorship program is now available “to people [ages 18+] within select groups focused on parenting, professional and personal development.” Facebook groups are easily created and managed by both private individuals and business pages. Group Admins establish the mentorship program within their group, selecting from a variety of mentorship templates including “career advancement, skill development, or encouragement and support,” whichever best fits the group’s community and program intentions. Once the opportunity is announced, interested group members can sign up as either a mentor or mentee. It will be up to the group Admin to best pair individuals based on sign-up responses and group engagement observations; this platform truly relies on a strong group community.
Guided Engagement and Progress
Matched mentor / mentee pairs will be connected onto the Mentorship platform on Facebook. Pairs can also choose to connect through Facebook Messenger. The Mentorship platform includes a guided timeline with milestones for pairs to achieve. Milestones may include introductions, resource exploration and sharing, skill knowledge, planning, etc. Facebook Mentorship will encourage users to check in with each other on a weekly basis.
The New Age of Apprenticeship
Giving and sharing knowledge is how cultures continue to exist. The development of Web 2.0 and social media does not end the value of our seniors, their life skills, and their insight. For tech-savvy seniors, the new Facebook Mentorship program is a wonderful opportunity to engage with future generations, create new relationships, learn and grow, and impart priceless experience and information.