For many seniors, the constantly evolving world of technology can be pretty intimidating — and sometimes even a little scary. Just when you think you’ve gotten a handle on the latest trend or gadget, something comes out that requires a whole new learning curve. This feeling of “never being able to keep up” can cause some older adults to disregard technology altogether.
However, overcoming technophobia is an important part of existing in today’s world. And even though ever-changing technology can be overwhelming, it also can be extremely helpful and beneficial. Here are five ways you can overcome your technophobia — and the reasons why you should.
1. Take a Class
There are many options for classes geared specifically toward helping seniors learn how to use new technologies. Look for options at your local library or senior center. If there isn’t a class offered near you, simply voicing your interest could help get a local learning program started.
2. Ask a Friend or Relative
Whether it’s your tech-savvy children, grandchildren or a good friend, you might be surprised by how willing your loved ones are to help you learn. Since getting tips from someone you’re already comfortable with can help limit the intimidation factor, this could be a good place to start improving your skills.
3. Seek Specific Skills
You probably don’t care about owning a virtual reality headset, but learning how to video chat with your far-away family members would be great. Keep it simple and specific to the skills you want to learn that will positively impact your life the most.
Start by learning skills that fit your hobbies. For instance, if you really enjoy watching movies, you might want to own a device like a Roku or Apple TV that allows you to easily stream Netflix to your TV. Or, perhaps you’ve picked up photography and want to know how to save your photos to the cloud for safekeeping. Once you identify the types of technology you’d like to learn more about, the whole world of possibilities might seem less scary.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Self-Teach
If you get a new smartphone that seems significantly more complicated than your last cellphone, don’t be afraid to play around and learn as you go. Since so much of technology is intuitive these days, you might be surprised by how much you can figure out. And don’t worry — most devices are a lot harder to break than you think.
5. Be Open to New Possibilities
You don’t have to become a computer whiz to benefit from technology — and a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. For instance, if you’re open to learning how to access sites like Google and YouTube (if you aren’t already familiar), you can literally find the answer to almost any question you may have.
Engaging with practical and simple technology tips — without having to feel like you’re constantly keeping up with everything new — can make the whole process seem more manageable.
Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay. Why not learn how to use it to your advantage? We guarantee the learning process will be easier and more intuitive than you think.
Looking for more ways to live an enriching life throughout your retirement? Check out our free resource, The Vitality Guide.