When Lauren went to her charging station to grab her portable music player she thought she had forgotten to plug it in when she went to charge it. Its display was dark and so she did a quick check of the other electronics resting in the charger. Her iPhone screen lit up with the touch of a button, as did her PDA. As she looked into it, she soon knew it was just her music device that was not working. She began to research places to go for iPod parts and service. She couldn’t imagine being without it for a significant length of time. Her grandmother, with whom she lived, was just the opposite. She was easily overwhelmed by technology and felt that people her age were sometimes left behind when trying to keep up. Lauren’s grandmother thought about trying to be more technologically savvy but was not sure where to even begin. The following are tips for those who are older who wish to learn about some recent advances in technology:
1. Take classes at the Community Center or Senior Citizen’s Center. Many communities now offer senior classes or workshops free of charge to anyone wishing to learn. Why not combine social interaction with others of the same age while gaining knowledge that will help you navigate through the maze of new technology?
2. View online tutorials at product websites. They are free and are available 24/7 so a person can go to them at will and get valuable instruction. A website is bound to take pains to make the company’s product easy to understand and appealing. This is where it might be possible to gain information about product accessories that could make it easier to use and more practical to charge and store.
3. Ask a grandchild or neighborhood student for help. Young people are given early training in school and it’s easy for them to pass on the teaching received to an interested older person. This is also a fun way to bond with a younger person due to a common interest. Never discount the fact that the child may truly benefit from spending time with an older person who contributes to his or her self-worth by validating technological talents the student has.
4. Don’t be afraid to try something that may be intimidating. Many times the language surrounding computers, cells, music devices, etc. can be hard to decipher but usually it sounds more complicated and daunting than it really is. Like everything else that is unfamiliar, new technology devices can be easily explained by form and function and become something to enjoy.
5. Keep an open mind. This is such an important element to any new undertaking. Older people can easily be overwhelmed and just give up when attempting to learn about new products but this is so counterproductive. As we age, these same products can make our lives easier by connecting us to loved ones, enabling us to shop from home, and allowing us to research ideas without leaving the comfort of home.