There are several common misconceptions about baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and their relationship with technology. Keep in mind that it was Tim Berners-Lee, born in 1955, who wrote the code creating webpages, paving the way for the internet as we know it. So, let’s debunk a few myths about boomers and tech.
While it’s true that boomers did not grow up with technology in the same way that later generations did, many have adapted and become proficient with it. In fact, research shows that boomers are increasingly using technology for everything from socializing to shopping to managing many aspects of their lives, including finances, health and recreation.
Another common misconception is that boomers are resistant to new developments and are unwilling to adapt. While some of us do struggle to adopt new technology, many are open to learning and are excited about the possibilities. As of 2022, over 80% of boomers use digital devices on a daily basis to stay in contact with family and friends via social media, texting, video chats, email and even old-fashioned phone calls. It’s a good bet the percentage has climbed higher in 2023.
Some people assume that older adults only use technology for basic tasks such as checking email or making calls. However, many boomers use their devices for more advanced tasks such as video chatting with friends and family members, shopping online, using social media to keep up to date with current events and even creating online content such as blogs, podcasts and videos on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. A quick online search for best baby boomer blogs will bring up dozens of excellent examples relating to travel, finances, health, recreation, hobbies and even dating for seniors!
We at boomertechadventures.com have learned that boomers vary in their level of technological proficiency, comfort and adoption. So, if you’re of a certain age or you simply want to become more comfortable with technology no matter what generation you’re in, here are a few pointers from us that might help.
1. If you’re new to tech, start with the basics. Learn how to use your computer, tablet or phone. Focus on how to use common applications and functions that are already built into your device, such as making calls, texting, email, word processors and web browsers.
2. Take a class. Many local libraries, public-school adult-education programs and community centers offer computer classes for older adults. Classes may be in person or online. These classes are a great way to learn in a supportive environment and to meet others who are also learning. Go to maineadulted.coursestorm.com for a comprehensive listing of adult-education offerings all over Maine.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re stuck or don’t understand something. Ask a family member, friend or neighbor who is more tech savvy to show you how to do something or to troubleshoot an issue. Another great option is to contact us at boomertechadventures.com. From our website, you can connect with us on social media or email, if you prefer.
4. Like any skill, using technology takes practice. Make a habit of using your computer, tablet or smartphone regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day to do simple tasks like checking the time, weather or current events.
5. Technology can be a great way to stay connected with family and friends who live down the street, across town or far away. Try using video chat applications like Skype or Zoom to have face-to-face conversations with loved ones or to make plans for meeting in person for lunch, dinner or a movie.
6. Finally, be sure to stay safe online. This means using strong passwords, being careful when clicking on links or downloading attachments, and being wary of scams and phishing attempts. This doesn’t mean you should live in fear and avoid being online. There’s an old saying, “Ships in the harbor are safe, but that’s not why ships were built.” Think of your digital devices as ships that can take you many interesting places.
Remember, with practice and perseverance, you can become more confident and proficient with technology. We can help.
BoomerTECH Adventures (boomertechadventures.com) provides expert guidance and resources to help Boomers and older adults develop competence and confidence using their Apple devices. Boomers themselves, BoomerTECH Adventures rely on their skills as educators to create experiences that meet individual needs through videos, Zoom presentations, tech tips and timely blog posts.
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