Thursday, May 28, 2009
The world’s oldest blogger, María Amelia López, passed away on May 20, 2009 at age 97. Her blog, amis95.blogspot.com, began when her grandson, Daniel, started it as a present for her 95th birthday. María Amelia began using the internet to keep in touch with news and modern culture. Her blog became her outlet to discuss a variety of topics from politics, to her swollen joints and bouts of dizziness, to even modern fashion.
Her blog, which is written in Spanish, became popular all over the world and has received over one million hits. Her readers even called her “Little Granny,” and would send letters asking her opinion on their own life decisions, such as what to study in school.
María Amelia loved her blog and all of her readers and made it a point to read every comment. I used a Google translator to translate some of the posts so I could read them. What struck me the most about María Amelia’s blog was her ability to be completely genuine. Her opinion on the aging process was not glamorized or negative. It was simply true.
María Amelia spoke of her loneliness and her illness frankly. However, she refused to be defeated by these components that can sometimes accompany old age. Her honesty and determination to continue to live life fully despite the number of candles on her birthday cake were an example to her readers.
The elderly population is a section of our society that is often looked over; María Amelia showed that there is a way for them to raise their voices (or their keyboards) and not only be heard but also to be sought after and listened to.
María Amelia’s ability to use the internet changed her life by providing her companionship and as she would say “feel very loved.” The change she experienced led her to become a strong advocate for how technology and the internet can improve the quality of life for many disengaged older adults.
María Amelia’s updates will be missed by her many blogger friends -- or as she used to call them her "blogueriños", yet María Amelia’s legacy will continue as a brilliant woman who proved that personal growth and development does not have to disappear with advancing age.
Stephanie is a UIndy sociology student who is pursuing a concentration in gerontology. She is also the administrative assistant at CAC.