So, what does it mean to be tech savvy? It’s defined as being well-informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology, especially computers. The Pew Research Center found that today, 73% of people 65 years or older use the internet, where just 15% of this same age group did in 2000.
While internet usage is on the rise for seniors, technology changes quickly, and it can feel like a challenge to keep up. When older generations believe that technology is catering to younger people, it becomes a barrier to computer literacy.
Whatever you may think, you are never too old or too young to become more tech savvy. Learning more about the assortment of digital devices available can help you stay connected with family, shop, or even bank — all online or on your smartphone.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, it is a great time to become more tech savvy. Here are three ways to get started.
1. Have an open mind and positive attitude
Technology can be frustrating, but a great first step is changing your perspective. Instead of thinking “I can’t do this,” think “I will figure out a way to do this.” Even though you may not discover a solution right away, practice makes perfect. Plus, having a positive attitude can determine how much and how you fast you can learn. You may enjoy the experience and even find it to be thrilling.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You don’t have to do it alone. Younger generations, especially ones that have been surrounded by technology since birth, are skilled when it comes to using various devices and software. Use this time to bond with your child(ren) or grandchild(ren).
There are also hundreds of books, articles, audio recordings, and live coaching available for you to get help that’s tailored to you. Google, Skype, and Zoom are all great tools that can allow you to chat with someone else or do more research on a topic you struggle with. It’s okay if you forget something, make a mistake, or run into a brick wall. You already know that success comes from learning from all the mistakes you made along the way.
3. Use YouTube to your advantage
YouTube provides access to millions of videos on various topics. For example, if you search “How to use Microsoft Word,” hundreds of videos will instantly appear. Videos can range from 3 to 30 minutes, depending on the content. Major companies, such as Apple and Windows, have also utilized their YouTube channels to upload self-help videos. Topics range from how to restore your iPhone if you forgot your password to how to download apps from the Microsoft Store.
Here at CenturyLink, we have a dedicated section of our YouTube channel designed to help you learn more about the internet and how to get online. Check out this one on how to change your wireless password.
The best part about YouTube is that you can stop, pause, rewind, and play a video as many times as you may need depending on your learning speed.
Exploring and learning something new can be scary and intimidating, but trust that you will get better at it over time. Don’t let your fear of technology hold you back from living your best life. Find different ways to make becoming technology proficient fun, like playing games or turning it into a challenge or competition with a friend who wants to become more tech savvy.
Our final tip: never forget why you are learning to begin with. Becoming more tech savvy will have untold benefits along the way. Knowing how to use technology can help you connect with friends and family, no matter where they are in the world. And using technology can help older adults age in place for longer and remain independent.
Do you have tips for other seniors about how to become more tech savvy? We’d love to hear them over on social media. Find us on Facebook or Twitter and drop us a comment!