How to become an IT savvy senior

Jul 06, 2022
This IT savvy blogger gives tips on teaching and educating yourself on tech. Source: Getty

Recently, I attended a writing retreat with friends, all of us in our seventies. I marvelled at the fact that we are IT savvy as we shared photos on Airdrop and used our laptops and iPads for research.

Yet so often, I hear the younger generation speak to us as though we don’t understand computers or Information Technology (IT).

Sure, I realise some older people haven’t had the exposure nor opportunity to be computer literate, but please don’t offend us by thinking we are all the same. We have a brain and the ability to learn new concepts.

All my friends use their iPads as their go-to online tool. They read their newspapers, chat and share photos with family and friends, look up new recipes, set up personal folders, synchronise fitness trackers with their phones, and of course not forget online shopping. They walk the talk.

My message to the younger generation is: do not assume we older gens are not IT savvy, because we are. And for the seniors who think they are too old to learn, that’s a myth. Maybe you purely can’t be bothered, which is a shame as there is much to see and do.

Not only do I use modern technology every day for communication, but I’ve also set up my smart TVs and wireless security cameras, and installed and activated my NBN home network, including my computer connections to my two printers and scanner. I utilise social media and have smart appliances like Google Home that make life easy. The Smart Speakers are fabulous as you can ask questions or give demands without touching a button.

If anyone has difficulty understanding computers, online content, emails, WiFi, iCloud etc there is numerous support available and for free. You could start by asking family or friends for help, otherwise, one of the best places to learn is at your local library. There is an abundance of support with IT Programs available for seniors, another option is to ring your local council.

The courses are not intimidating and will quietly guide you through basic concepts of technology. It will open up a whole new fascinating world for you and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start earlier.

Here are a few tips to consider if you’re helping others or need to learn more.

  • When helping someone, break the information down into small basic tasks, and use terminology to liken it to something that the learner can relate to. It makes things much easier for them to understand.
  • It’s important to be mindful when talking about computers, speak at a slow consistent pace, not quickly, and allow the brain to absorb and process the information, allowing time for questions.
  • Keeping it simple is the best way to explain how things work, including the use of basic terminology and repeating the information.
  • Trendy buzz talk may need to be explained. Statements such as ‘going online’ or ‘navigating’ your way around on a computer or iPad could be likened to navigating your way around streets. People can relate to this.
  • Even the keys on the keyboard can be daunting. Not everyone has learnt how to type and terminology like ‘press the Enter key’ can be confusing, they need to be physically shown which key to push and what the symbol means.
  • Concepts such as iCloud can confuse people young and old. It’s not something that floats around in space on a cloud as many people have eluded to. The information does travel through space, in a sense, for it to reach someone’s huge information storage bank. This metal unit could be sitting in their spare room or a warehouse in a remote location overseas.
  • Always suggest learners keep handwritten steps in a notebook for future reference. There is too much information to remember.
  • If you do own an iPad or similar, go to Youtube, my favourite reference site. There is an abundance of videos to help beginners on every topic whether IT-related or not. For example, I had trouble re-threading my overlocking sewing machine and I found a fabulous video made specifically for my brand of overlocker. It took me through the process step by step. I use Youtube for new crochet or knitting stitches with my favourite online tutors.

My message to the older generation is good on you for keeping up with the times, and for those not-so-IT savvy readers who may feel intimidated, please ask someone for help. Adopt a positive approach to learning about computers, it is fantastic for brain stimulation.

Information Technology can expose you to a whole new marvellous world. Your children and grandkids will love you for it. Life is short, so why not embrace what it has to offer. Just don’t forget your passwords!


Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up