Every day, more and more ways to do things like shop, visit the doctor, talk to friends, and more are available online. But if you don’t feel comfortable using this type of technology, you might also feel like you’re missing out.
Luckily, there’s good news: It’s never too late to learn how to use different kinds of technology! With a little practice and some quick tips, you’ll be tech-savvy before you know it.
I’m Bad at Using Technology. What Should I Do?
Some people think that since they’ve had trouble using new technology in the past, they’re doomed to stay that way forever. But did you know that according to Pew Research:
- 60% of Baby Boomers and 40% of the Silent Generation own smartphones?
- Over half of the Silent Generation says the internet is a positive force for society?
- 60% of people ages 75-79 say they use the internet?
Learning anything for the first time can take a while and requires lots of practice. So don’t be afraid to dive in and start seeing how technology can make your life easier and more fun. Being confident in your abilities is the first step toward something new.
Getting Help With Technology
Some people are afraid to use technology simply because they don’t want to “mess something up.” Rest assured that there’s very little you can do to truly cause trouble on your computer, phone, or tablet!
We’ve found several free resources that can help you become more confident in using your device.
- GFC Global, sponsored by the Goodwill Foundation, features articles, videos, and more to help you learn a variety of topics. The internet basics and using the web to get stuff done courses would be good places to start.
- TechBoomers is another website with free training options. We recommend the internet safety course and their explanation of how to set up a video call with a family member.
Once you get more comfortable doing the basics, you can expand your knowledge to do almost anything with your computer or device, right from the comfort of your home.
Staying Safe Online
Using a computer or device can be fun, but there are a few simple safety precautions to keep in mind as you use the internet or apps. This doesn’t mean you need to be worried about everything you do - just use common sense and follow these suggestions.
- Know which sites are safe. Only visit or click on websites you trust, and look for websites that show a lock icon and/or HTTPs in the URL bar to signify they’re safe.
- Create strong, unique passwords - and don’t share them. When you’re prompted to create a password for a website, make it something only you would know, and don’t give it to anyone else.
- Be aware of scams. People can sometimes pretend to be someone they’re not online. Verify the sender of any message or email before replying. Never click on a link in a suspicious email. And don’t be intimidated by threats - they’re often just a ploy to get you to part with money or information.
Other Ways You Can Use Technology
The possibilities are nearly endless once you become comfortable with using technology. Here are just a few ways you can use your newfound skills:
- Communicate with family members or friends through video calls
- Keep up with acquaintances on social media
- Watch videos and listen to music
- Read the news and check the weather forecast
- Find information about medications, vacation spots, hobbies, and more
- Order groceries or household supplies
- Write notes or letters via email
- Start a book or diary
- Meet virtually with a doctor
- Download and read e-books and magazines
- Much, much more!
Virtual Tours at Otterbein
One more way you can use your new technology skills is to schedule a virtual tour at Otterbein SeniorLife.
At any of our continuing care retirement communities in Ohio and Indiana, we can show you any type of home you’re interested in, answer your questions, and give you a look at the campus. And it can all be done right from the comfort of your home with any video technology that you’re comfortable with!
Learn more about scheduling a virtual tour at Otterbein and hear from Otterbein marketing director Anna on what a tour can offer you.