At Pure TalkUSA, we talk a lot about savvy seniors and technology. But what does that really mean?
We think it is our job as cell phone providers to empower seniors to make the most of their technology. We want to encourage seniors to best use technology, whether that is a smartphone, older mobile device, computer or tablet.
We want to give seniors the best phones, plans and information about those plans and phones.
We want to encourage seniors to use technology and give them tips for how to do so.
And we want to break down the myths that surround seniors and technology use.
Seniors should not be discouraged from engaging in technology or think that only basic phones will be best for them.
Today, we are busting three myths about seniors and technology.
Myth 1: Seniors Are Behind on Technology
It is true that seniors are not usually “early adopters” of new fads or apps. However, according to Pew Research, 91 percent of U.S. adults over age 65 have mobile phones. About 53 percent use smartphones specifically.
Further, 67 percent of U.S. adults over age 65 use or have the Internet, with 82 percent of those ages 65-69 having Internet, according to Pew Research.
Seniors might not be the largest percentage of new technology users, but they are using technology and finding it can improve their communication and quality of life.
Myth 2: It’s Too Hard for Seniors to Learn How to Use New Technology
Some seniors say adapting to new technologies is daunting. However, there are resources for seniors who wish to take control of their technology education and start using new tools. To check for resources in your area, contact your library, senior center, a local college or stores that sell cell phones or computers. These often host classes on beginning computer, tablet and smartphone use.
Also check out the tips in our article Cell Phones for Seniors for tips on how to best use your cell phone. For example, increasing the font size on your screen, setting the brightness and volume up high, and organizing your most-used apps on the homescreen can help tailor your cell phone to your needs.
Myth 3: Seniors Don’t Need Technology
There has been a common belief that seniors do not actually need technology, which is why they are not very active with it. And while it is true that seniors are more apt to accept technology when they see a need for it in their own lives, many seniors have found a need for it.
Elderly Americans want to stay connected to family and friends just like everyone else. Additionally, smartphones and tablets offer another option to get news and information quickly. And don’t forget the many games available for relaxation or fun.
Also, technology is not always about smartphones, fancy tablets, and social media. For many seniors, technology is useful for very practical reasons, such as emergency communication. Whether it’s a special watch that can be used to track medical and fitness information or fitness and mental health apps such as Calm, technology has become far more than just a tool for socializing and fun. It is a way to stay safe and connected, too.
The myths surrounding seniors and technology are plentiful. But more seniors are using and enjoying technology than in the past.