• Jeff Wasson

The Future of Social Networks: Audio, Private, and for Some Older Adults, Voice First.

Private Social Networks + Voice Technology =

Happiness for All


Social networks and messaging services provide great value, allowing asynchronous communication to occur: email, text, and photo sharing are all part of our daily life. For the vast majority, this is woven into our routine and has made smartphones ubiquitous.

But, what happens when the smartphone is no longer a primary device? What happens when social networks fail to keep you connected and engaged with those you love?

The Benefits of Voice Technology

For many older adults, voice-first technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are nothing short of a superpower. They are hands-free, and voice is the most natural way to interact.

Voice-first technology mitigates a whole host of issues that lead to challenges: dexterity loss, hearing and vision impairment, cognitive decline.

In my last post, I discussed Bridging the Generational Digital Divide, the difference in how different generations use technology, and pointed out that a higher percentage of older adults — though certainly not all older adults — face particular challenges with digital devices and services.

For many older adults, this means being out of the loop, which can provoke feelings of frustration, isolation, and even loneliness, for both them and their family and friends. This a real problem faced by tens of millions in the U.S. alone.

For those of us with loved ones facing these challenges, it sometimes feels like the pace of technological advancement, a good thing overall, complicates our lives, instead of making them easier. Current technologies, as always, are only tools, and when they fail to bring value, new solutions need to be sought.

Happily, listening, seeing, and speaking are not technologies, but rather skills available to most, and the future of human engagement will and should rely heavily on simplifying the process of staying connected.

The Benefits of Private Social Networks

For many of us, the idea of only being connected to those we choose to invite into our circle is a nicety; for others, it is imperative. For many older adults, the very real concerns of scams, fraud, and privacy invasions are risks not worth taking.

Private Social Networks, like VAL communities from Voice Activated Living, accomplish the goal of an invite-only, closed community network composed of only those family members and friends you choose.

In addition, private social networks completely remove the concerns over fraud and scams, and since there are no ads and personal data is never sold, privacy is always intact.

In a private social network, the value of a social network remains — seeing family photos, videos, hearing audio messages, and sharing content remain — and for most, that’s the point.


Imagine a world where only those you care about are part of your community, and where you are free from outside distractions. Imagine a world where all of the complexities of technology fade to the background, and what is left is simply the value provided by being connected and engaged with those you love.

Private Social Networks + Voice Technology =

Happiness for All

Staying connected, staying engaged, and inspiring loved ones to smile, that matters.

Voice Activated Living makes happiness a way of life.