Technology is no longer an optional extra – from paying bills, to accessing healthcare, ordering shopping and staying in touch with family and friends across the world, it’s now an integral part of everyday life. The pace and scale of change can be quite overwhelming and it’s hard to keep a clear mind. Whether you’ve only dipped your toe into the shallower waters of what technology can do you for, or you’re a confident veteran of smartphones and computers, there is always more to learn. In fact, it’s very easy to feel that as soon as you’ve hit your stride with one thing, everything changes again.
For those aged 50 plus, you have likely witnessed a few technology trends come go. But even if you feel comfortable with specific applications and programs used at work or even around the home, pushing yourself to learn new things can undoubtedly be daunting. We are now staying in the workforce longer, and meanwhile the page of change is consistently speeding up. It means you are likely to encounter increasingly rapid change, and that you’ll have to constantly learn new digital skills in order to keep up.The good news is that these new skills can not only make you better at your job, but also enhance your home life.
Getting To Grips With New Tech
Smartphones may have started out as a nice-to-have, but they are now officially a necessity for carrying out daily tasks with ease – even the government is increasingly pushing us to use them to access services and support. Studies from The Pew Research Centre have found that 58% of individuals over the age of 65 are now regularly accessing the internet via their phones. As technology becomes more mainstream, so does the desire to make it accessible to a wider audience. So, it’s now easier to find a smartphone which suits your needs. Many tech companies are dedicated to developing products with seniors in mind, and there are many more training tools available for those who don’t consider themselves digital natives – from specific apps to monitor concerns related largely to this age group, to support with the practical aspects of device management and security – from keeping safe while banking online to maintaining device memory or learning what to do with Mac overheating.
Focus On Functionality
Just because something exists, doesn’t mean that you have to be using it. Work out what you need to achieve in your personal or working life, and then focus on the technology which is going to allow you to achieve that. Go from the basis of your needs, and build for there. For example, say that you want to send out a newsletter as part of a club you’re in, or as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family. Start by getting familiar with an email platform such as MailChimp, which will allow you to quickly build professional looking emails for a mass audience. Or learn how to set up a family group on Facebook where people can post pictures of what they are up to. Perhaps you have a lot of personal admin in sorting out the household finances – in that case, focus on learning how to use the internet for banking, setting up direct debits and automatic payments for bills. Or perhaps start by using a price comparison site to make sure you’re getting the best deals on energy bills or insurance coverage. If you begin with the end in mind, it’s easier not to get distracted by the sheer volume of websites, programs and apps out there – just keep it simple. Once you have learned a few tricks, you will feel more confident and can move on to other things in your own time.