Tips for Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior
Americans 50 and older are embracing more tech with 81% of adults 60 to 69 owning a smartphone and three-quarters of Americans 50 and older regularly using social media, according to an AARP survey. If you're ready to embrace technology, use these tips to learn more.
Choose the Right Device
Test different devices to find one that's intuitive and easy for you to use, especially if you have limited mobility. Tablets are often ideal because they have larger screens than smartphones, but they aren't bulky like laptops. Some devices, like the GrandPad tablet, are designed for seniors, delivering only the features they need.
Ask for a Demo
If you buy your device in a store, as for a demo before you leave. For example, if you want an iPad, you can take a short drive from Framingham to the Natick Apple Store to have them set up your new device and show you how to use it.
Attend a Class
Tech classes for seniors focus on the basics to help older people learn how to video chat, navigate devices, and do other basic tasks. Senior centers or community colleges might offer these classes locally.
If you already have a basic understanding of navigating the internet, online tech classes for seniors can help you learn more. GetSetUp is designed for older adults and offers tech classes. Another resource for tech and other classes for seniors is Senior Planet from AARP.
Practice With Family
If you have family members visit, do a test run with video chatting or other programs you plan to use. That way, they can help if you have difficulty, and you can get pointers from them to improve your comfort with technology. You can also practice with a neighbor or friend who's comfortable with technology.
Get Extra Gear
If you plan to video chat with your family often, having a quality pair of headphones can help. Noise-canceling headphones block out background noise and concentrate the sound, so you can better focus on the conversation. Decide on your budget, and choose headphones with good reviews at that price point.
Keep your headphones at a reasonable level. Anything over 70 decibels can damage your hearing over prolonged periods,according to the CDC. Normal conversation or the sound of an air conditioner is about 60 decibels while your washing machine is about 70 decibels.
Trial and Error
Improving your tech skills often happens with trial and error. The more you use your technology devices, the more you'll become comfortable with them. Start with what you know and expand from there to learn more.
Practice Online Safety
Create strong passwords for all devices, apps, and websites. Install antivirus software on your devices, updating the programs frequently to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Do updates on your device when they become available. Never click links from people you don't know or links from unsolicited emails, as they could lead to viruses or cyberattacks.
Become Tech Savvy
You don't have to become a tech expert, but finding the right equipment and jumping in can help you become more comfortable with technology. Visit the Cryan's tech blog for more useful tips.
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