Young People Teach Older Adults How to Use Smartphones with "Grandparents Gone Wired" and Mentor Up Team Up With Nev Schulman and Max Joseph from MTV's Catfish: The TV Show to Help Older Adults Learn Smartphone Basics

Nov 10, 2015, 10:33 ET from

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While 77 percent of older adults have a cell phone, just 18 percent feel comfortable learning to use the device.[1] That's why this holiday season, and AARP Foundation's Mentor Up have joined forces for the third year for Grandparents Gone Wired.

Grandparents Gone Wired uses young people's expertise when it comes to smartphones and their love of the older adults in their lives to help seniors stay connected with loved ones and improve their health.

Beginning today through January 31, young people can sign up at and will receive tips on five ways to teach the older adults in their lives how to make the most of their smartphone:

  • Emojis & Texting
  • Cameras & Selfies
  • Video Chat
  • Voicemail
  • Social Media Apps

Young people who sign up for the campaign and upload a photo showing off how they taught an older adult how to use a smartphone will be entered to win a $10,000 scholarship.

"Grandparents Gone Wired gives young people a chance to spend time with the older adults in their lives and teach them a new skill," said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at "When older adults learn how to text like their grandkids, it makes them feel more connected and in the loop with what's going on in their lives.

Nev Schulman and Max Joseph from the hit MTV series Catfish: The TV Show are encouraging their fans to teach older adults how to text and use emojis in a new PSA.

"Working on Catfish, Max and I see firsthand just how much people use social media to try and connect with others," said Nev Schulman of MTV's 'Catfish: The TV Show.' "Grandparents Gone Wired is a great opportunity to help older people feel more connected." 

"Mentor Up is a reverse mentoring program that draws on the digital savvy of a younger generation to enhance the lives of older adults by using technology literacy to build and support meaningful relationships," said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, AARP Foundation president. "There are millions of seniors feeling isolated or disconnected. Mentor Up, together with Grandparents Gone Wired, creates opportunities for the generations to connect in a variety of ways, ultimately benefitting everyone involved."

For more information about Grandparents Gone Wired, visit

To view the PSA, visit:

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About Mentor Up
An AARP Foundation program, Mentor Up offers tools and instruction to help young people make a meaningful difference in the lives of the older adults in their families and communities.  We can connect you with people and organizations that have ways for you to help, or even help you create your own community service event. For more information on Mentor Up please visit:


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