‘Old Man Steve: Breaking Ground for Seniors On Social Media
As a whiz on social media, 76 year old
East Haven.CT resident Stephen (Steve) Austin is breaking all
the myths about seniors not using new technology. Steve is currently considered the “favorite
Grandpa” on six second
looping video service Vine, where he has almost 29,000 followers. His
videos have been viewed more than 19 million times.
Many social media users know Steve by his screen name, Old Man Steve (visit
https://vine.co/old.man.steve), and his popularity has continued to grow in recent years. He even gets
recognized while out shopping.
“I first heard someone yell, ‘Steve, why aren’t you home making videos? I’ve watched all your
videos.’ Since then several people have stopped me saying, ‘Old Man Steve, I love your work,’”
Originally Steve ran a dental business, which he inherited from his father, but after retiring (for the
first time) 20 years ago, Steve started working part time for the Dallas Summer Musicals theater,
where he met many in the entertainment field.
About seven years ago while still living in Dallas, where he grew up, Steve’s videomaking
“I started making YouTube videos after I read an article saying you could make a lot of money, but,
of course, that’s not how it works, since I think YouTube has only brought me a $100 over a five year period,” Steve says
with a laugh.
After moving to East Haven from Dallas four years ago due to family health issues, Steve and his
southern drawl become a fan favorite on YouTube, Fiverr, Vine, and other social media sites.
Like any good Grandpa would do, Steve makes it a point to discourage anyone on Vine from using
“I will make sure to call them out on it,” he says.
Steve truly enjoys making people happy through entertaining and it shows. His Old Man Steve Spy
YouTube videos recently became a comedic hit, and Steve is a top rated
seller at online service
marketplace Fiverr, which, he says, “helps supplement my little Social Security check.”
With all this success, Steve still has one major goal to achieve: “Getting on the Ellen [DeGeneres]
Steve loves DeGeneres’s humor and says, “I’ve been trying to get on her show for years.”
Another thing Steve has been doing for years is wearing hats in all his videos. He’s not quite sure
how his various matching hats became his trademark, but says “On Vine, I also have cups to match
Where does all this talent and creativity come from? Steve believes it was his grandfather, “My
namesake, Steve Edward Austin.
“He had an act doing animal impersonations and toured around doing vaudeville. He even had a radio
show. I was very close to him, so maybe he inspired me,” says Steve. “My mother always said, ‘Your
grandfather is just silly, and you’re just like him.’ So maybe I’m channeling him!”
Talent runs in the family. Steve’s dad played the violin with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Talents aside, Steve says it’s great to be involved in social media because “even though I live alone,
I’m never really alone.