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Teaching silver surfers to use social media

26 June 2012 Last updated at 00:05 BST

Smart phones and social media are not just for young people.

A poll by the Pew Research Center says that for the first time more than half of Americans aged over 65 are now using the internet. And one in three online seniors uses social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

For millions of older Americans, however, the world of computers - with its terminology, tablets and Tweets - remains baffling.

The "gerontechnology program" at Pace University in New York City is trying to bridge the divide between young and old.

Students are paired with senior citizens for seven weeks of one-on-one lessons in email, Skype and instant messaging. They undergo sensitivity training beforehand to help them appreciate some of the physical ailments that old people have to deal with.

Produced by the BBC's Rozalia Hristova