Senior citizens are Thailand’s new social media influencers

Social media is usually associated with millennials or Gen Z. In Thailand, those in their golden years are increasingly finding fans and followers online. Thai senior citizens from all walks of life are emerging as some of the Kingdom’s newest social media influencers.

British newspaper The Guardian reported that the trend is the result of a government program to elevate senior citizens’ online skills while matching them with mentors who are usually university students.

Playing on the name of one of the most popular social media platforms, the paper referred to the phenomenon as Instagram.

As an example, they cited Nadrda Suksuthamwong, 61, a personal trainer and fitness influencer with over 68,000 followers on TikTok. She credits the government course with teaching her how to illustrate and cut her videos more effectively. “My children are in their 30s, they tell their friends – my mom is a TikTok star,” she told the paper.

Somsak Jiteurtragoo, a 62-year-old retired headteacher from central Thailand whose videos on gardening have garnered over 8,000 views on Facebook in a matter of months.

Somsak said that most Thai seniors are already using social media, but they aren’t content creators. He believes they can and should be. “As the older generations, we should get up and give it a go,” he says. “Do something that you like, present something that you are enthusiastic about. Our knowledge can be valuable to society. The younger generation can learn from us.”

The government project is promising. About 50 people have taken part in a digital training designed for those 60 and over by the Thai Media Fund, a government agency. The project is about to accept a new batch of students.

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