July 30th, 2015 15:36
Mythbusters: Seniors and Technology
At Pure TalkUSA, we talk a lot about savvy seniors. But what does that really mean?
It means its our job as providers to empower seniors to make the most of their technology. So whether its a smartphone, an older mobile device, a computer or a tablet, we want to be sure were encouraging seniors to take part in technology and are giving them the best information about apps, technology and plans.
It means giving seniors the best phones and plans.
It means encouraging seniors to use technology instead of telling them they cant handle it, or shouldnt participate.
And it means breaking down the myths that surround seniors and technology use.
Seniors shouldnt be discouraged from engaging in technology, which is exactly what happens when we pigeonhole them with basic plans and tech, assuming its all they can handle. Because really, is it?
We dont think so. Which is why were busting these three myths about seniors and technology.
Seniors dont use technology.
Lets nip this outrageous rumor in the bud. Are seniors the largest technology demographic? No. Does that mean seniors dont use and enjoy technology? No!
According to a Pew Research Survey in 2014, 6 in 10 seniors use the internet, while 71% of those seniors do so every day or almost every day.
Need more proof? Just look at the 77% of seniors who have a cell phone. Or, take a look at younger seniors. 74% of seniors 65-69 use the internet, and 84% own a cell phone. Even 29% have a smartphone!
Seniors might not be the largest percentage of technology users, but they are using it and not just basic technology, either!
Its too hard for seniors to learn how to use technology.
While seniors may find adapting to new technologies more daunting than, say, a teenager, this doesnt mean seniors arent capable of learning how to use them. They just need someone to help them through the process. Luckily, there are plenty of resources for seniors who wish to take control of their technology education and start using these tools.
Theres also a misconception that once seniors learn how to use technology, that knowledge isnt lasting. However, Pew research shows the opposite that seniors who adopt technology make it a part of their daily lives. Also, a large portion of soon-to-be seniors (specifically, the Baby Boomer generation) have spent a much of their adult life with some form of technology. Were sure most Boomers will argue against not being able to learn new technology!
Seniors dont need technology.
If you dont need something, why use it? Right? Well, theres a common belief that seniors dont need technology, which is why theyre not very active with it. And while its true that seniors are more apt to accept technology when they see a need for it in their own lives, many seniors have found a need for it! Seniors want to stay connected just like everyone else. In fact, according to NPR, seniors are the fastest growing group on social media.
But technology isnt always about smartphones, fancy tablets, and Facebook. For many seniors, it has very practical functions, such as emergency communication or staying healthy. Whether its a cool watch that is really an emergency medical device, or smartphone apps like 5Star, technology has become far more than just a tool for socializing and fun. Its a way to stay safe and connected, too! What senior doesnt want that?
The myths surrounding seniors and technology are plentiful. And while its true that seniors lag behind the rest of the population in technology adoption and use, thats not to say that seniors dont use or appreciate technology. Everyone has different tastes, and its time to recognize the savvy seniors who have a taste for tech!