How older people are learning the technology to stay connected after the blockage

How older people are learning the technology to stay connected after the blockage

It’s a popular stereotype. The image of older people tinkering with technology envelops them completely like bamboo. The media often portrays older people struggling to use or manage digital technology. It’s often designed to be humorous, but it can undermine them as a user of technology. And it’s a problem if older people stop trying to use digital devices because it can affect their health.

Older people are already suffering from digital disadvantages. 18% over 65 years old I can’t access the internet.Promoted by forced quarantine, older people are increasingly Turned to technology During the pandemic, but not all were able to connect and communicate with friends and family over the Internet.

Of course, some older people have less experience with digital technology than others, and of course Explain mixed emotions Regarding the use of everyday devices such as smartphones, laptops, e-readers and tablets. They also report that they are not very confident about using them. Lack of control, overwhelming sensations, and poor product design can lead to the feeling of being incompetent, alone, and even trapped.

But for those who are working hard, the rewards are plentiful. Complete tasks more easily, communicate more effectively, and increase independence and a sense of accomplishment. These things are important if this growing part of the population is to experience aging in a more positive and empowering way.

finished Our study We wanted to explore these complex emotions that older people have about using technology and how to develop ways to combat the challenges they face. Digital technology has been shown to reduce pressure on health and social care, but until now there has been limited understanding of how technology use affects the lives of older people.

Attitude towards technology

While many consider digital technology a challenge to overcome, there are several ways to overcome or face obstacles. Some people may consider the challenge a personal goal, using instruction manuals or just trial and error, to win software updates, unwanted viruses, or junk mail.

Others see digital technology as a collective effort and seek help from friends and family. Not only is this the most successful strategy, it also facilitates important interactions with others.For example, during a pandemic, many people Young people acted As IT support for older friends and relatives.

Not all older people have this kind of network, but they can arguably benefit most from using the Internet to connect and keep loneliness away. In these situations, there are convenient schemes run by charities such as Age UK. Digital champion Helps older people learn technology.

Adopting a strategy

Acquiring new skills naturally leads to frustration, but some older people show how to overcome frustration by building relationships with their devices. You can connect older people to technology by naming tablets and humanizing mobile phones.

In our research, different devices are often referred to as having a personality, gender, or unique spirit. This strategy provides some relevance for situations that would otherwise be stressful.

As these people become accustomed to digital technology, familiarity can facilitate continued use. With new devices, you can download software and apps that they know and understand, so you don’t feel alien. Similarly, if there is a problem with the touch screen, some older people may decide to use a keyboard and mouse instead.

Breeding confidence

While there are pros and cons to using technology of all ages, our research shows that older people can provide their own perspective. With lifelong wisdom, they can take a step back and admit that technology has its flaws. In the event of a problem, their judgment and experience will help them understand that the key to using technology is persistence. One participant, Christopher, 83, said:

These findings are important for technology development, marketing, and customer service. Technology design for the elderly needs to provide continuity based on their experience. Digital devices should include familiar commands, buttons, screens, and add-ons to previous models. This will improve your ability to keep track of updates and developments. And in turn, this not only fosters social ties, but also helps to increase independence and self-confidence.

We also need to stop the stereotypes of the elderly. You need to recognize, respect, and reflect your experience and perspective in your marketing campaigns. Messaging needs to emphasize the potential benefits of learning technology, the importance of connecting people to independence and social involvement.

Finally, customer service needs to be easily accessible and familiar with the issues facing seniors to provide the support they need, based on the scheme provided by Age UK Digital Champions. Clearly, friends, family and communities have an important role to play in enabling older people to socially engage, engage and stay connected through technology. Their well-being may depend on it.

Author: Carolyn Wilson-Nash-Lecturer, University of Stirling Management School, Marketing and Retail | Julie Tinson-Professor of Marketing, University of Stirling

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