Technology has become ubiquitous with our way of life in the United States and most places around the globe. It is almost impossible to be a good student or employee without regular access to the internet and other forms of technology. With that said, some subgroups in the country do not utilize technology to the best of their ability. For example, seniors citizens are one group that is much less likely to use technology, this is generally due to the fact that they lack knowledge they have on these relatively new technology systems.
Technology is nearly unavoidable at this point. Whether you are using a smartphone, tablet, computer, or something else, learning how to use these devices properly and safely should be a top priority for seniors.
Technology and Seniors
Despite how helpful technology can be for all people, many seniors won’t use tools like the internet or smartphones, this is partially due to the fact that they don’t know how to properly use these things. According to some reports, over 40 percent of seniors don’t use the internet.
However, there are a number of benefits for seniors who use technology, one of the most obvious benefits that these tools provide is communication. Through things like Facebook and other social media tools, seniors can get in touch easier with friends and loved ones. Moreover, through the use of technology, and communication, seniors can see decreases in loneliness and, in turn, experience better mental and physical health. Greater technology use studied and found to be associated with better self-rated health, fewer chronic conditions, high well-being, and lower depression.
It should also be noted that seniors have a general willingness to learn how to use new technology systems. And, luckily, there are classes available to seniors where they can learn how to use tools like Apple products and certain internet capabilities. For example, the AARP holds classes for seniors to learn more about how to use smartphones and other devices and navigate them more properly. Similarly, if you have technology questions, speaking with a younger person or grandchild is a great way to get some quick help.
Online Safety Tips
When learning about technology, and the internet, it is important to think about your personal safety and the information that you are giving out online. Scams and viruses are common on the internet, in fact, many scams specifically target older adults. If you do not protect yourself, criminals can gain access to personal information. However there are a few simple tips that you can follow to reduce the chances of running into these issues.
When you are searching through the web, watch out for untrustworthy sites. Many web browsers these days will give you a warning before entering a untrustworthy site, if this is the case do not continue. Likewise, at the top of most web browsers, next to the website address, there will be lock symbol, if the symbol is unlocked or red be weary of clicking on any links.
Creating A Strong Password
Often overlooked, passwords are one of the most important security tools that we come across when using the internet or a device. When setting up a new device, social media account, email, or other account it is most effective if you use a password that is longer rather than shorter and more complex. Also, it is best to use different passwords for each devices to better protect yourself.
Despite how prevalent technology has become in day-to-day living, some individuals, especially senior citizens, struggle to use tools like the internet and devices like smartphones. With that said, there are options and classes available for seniors to learn how to use these things not only efficiently, but safely as well.
One of the biggest selling points and benefits of technology for seniors is the ability for people to connect with one another. And, while social engagement is important, we need to remember to protect our seniors as well. Advancements in technology is amazing but safety should be the number one priority.