Older adults using technology more than ever – WABI

Science & Technology

(WABI) – The pandemic has amplified the use of technology among older adults.
AARP says three out of four people ages 50 and older use it regularly to stay connected, including more than seventy percent for people in their 60′s and 70′s. According to the Pew Research Center, sixty-one percent of people 65 or older own a cell phone now, up from thirteen percent in 2012.
“Seniors have really started to use it for a variety of things,” said Verizon Regional; Sales Manager Emily MacRae. “Including video chats with loved ones, making appointments, emails, searching the web, you know, all the stuff that everybody does seniors are really starting to embrace in a whole new way.”
Hannah Cyrus is the Director of Development and Marketing at the Bangor Public Library. She says the number one hurdle for seniors learning new technology is confidence.
“What I tell them is no, you’re not alone,” Cyrus said. “Like, I’ve talked to people every day who don’t know how to do this, and there’s no reason you would know if no one ever taught you.”
For the generations that have grown up with things like smart phones and computers, Cyrus has some sound advice.
“If folks can take the time and be a little bit more patient. You know, I get a lot of feedback from people that their kids and grandkids know what they’re doing, but aren’t very good at communicating it. And, I think if more people could not count out their older relatives and say, ‘Okay, yeah, let me explain to you what social media is. Let me explain to you what a wireless internet network is.’ You know, people can learn and understand these things.”
For more information on tech help from the Bangor Public Library, visit bangorpubliclibrary.org
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