‘Instagram-pa’ encourages the elderly to share their history through Instagram

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

TORONTO – UK resident Rex Redstone might be one of the most interesting people on Instagram.

However Redstone has an unfair advantage over many users – he has over 85 years of photographs, memories and experiences to share with his followers.

The 85-year-old is the oldest known Instagram user in the UK. Dubbing himself the “Instagram-pa” the senior citizen posted his first photo two weeks ago – hashtags and all – explaining to his followers that he wished to share photos of his life so “they can keep on living.”

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So far, Redstone has posted nine photos to his Instagram profile sharing photos that date as far back as the 1920s – but the Instagram-pa did make sure to include at least one selfie, keeping with Instagram tradition.

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My first selfie! #selfie #instagramtimeline #peterborough

A post shared by Rex Redstone (@rexpeterborough) on

Redstone, who lives in Peterborough, England, has also been sharing images of his hometown’s history.

“This is where I first worked tuning pianos in 1942. Like many things this is no longer there today,” he commented on one photo.

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Redstone got started on Instagram with the help of the Barclays Digital Eagles, an initiative started by Barclay’s bank aimed at helping get more senior citizens online. The program helps elderly users gain understanding of the Internet, while getting them started on programs like Skype or Facebook.

But for Instagram-pa – who has just over 4,000 followers on Instagram – the real thrill of using the photo-sharing service comes from sharing history that would have otherwise sat untouched in photo albums in his attic.

Redstone uses the hashtag #sharinghistory on all of his posts.

“I hadn’t quite realized just how many hundreds of pictures we’ve collected over the years, and looking back has been very nostalgic for us. I’m really pleased to now be able to share these online with our family and indeed the world, and it’s allowed us to bring our memories back to life again,” said Redstone in a press release posted on Photography Blog.

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“I will be encouraging my friends to use Instagram, it’s a great way for all generations to share their stories through pictures.”

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