Get Smart: Technology in Your Golden Years

Do you feel like today’s high-tech society is just passing you by? Are you overwhelmed by the constant innovation of technology and the newness and unfamiliarity that comes with it? If so, that’s no surprise – the world was much different when you were younger. While it’s easy to get frustrated and feel disheartened by the technology of today, the reality is that it’s not going anywhere. Technology is only going to keep expanding in our society so, in order to feel like you’re not being left behind, the best thing to do is embrace it and actively seek to understand how it all works.

No one expects you to know the inner functions of the internet or the anatomy of an AI, but over the past 2 decades, you might’ve found yourself on the receiving end of an eye-roll when you’ve asked your child or grandchild how to send a text message. First, it’s important that you know that there is nothing to be ashamed of – keeping up with constant innovation is hard. However, you might feel better and more comfortable in society if you know the basics. The great thing is that once you get the hang of it, using a cellphone, computer, or iPad/tablet is pretty straightforward and will even make your life easier in many ways. In this article, we’ll review how to go about learning and using technology.

The 3 Rs

When starting the learning process, it’s important to keep the three Rs in mind:


The first step to learning how to use technology is resignation – even if today’s technology isn’t something you’re particularly fond of, it’s inevitable so the only way to continue forward comfortably is to embrace it. Let go of any resentment and understand that you’re improving your way of life by having these developments at your fingertips.


It’s important to understand how a certain type of technology will affect your life because if you understand the benefits, you’ll feel more inclined to learn. Perhaps having a cellphone will improve your day-to-day – you’ll feel safer when out and about, have easier access to your family and friends, and it will hold your reminders for tasks and important dates – but you see no use for a computer. Prioritize learning how to send a text message, build a speed dial list, or use your calendar and reminders apps.


It’s important to remember that, like with any lesson, you probably won’t remember how to use your technology after the first try. Practice makes perfect and if you incorporate using technology into your daily life, you’ll be an expert in no time! Just remember to give yourself plenty of room to learn and be patient with yourself. It’s not a race.

Ways to Learn

Depending on your technical proficiency and comfort, there are several ways that you can go about learning how to use basic technology.

Take a Class

Get back in the classroom! There are tons of expert-lead programs online and in-person that offer step-by-step lessons on how to use phones and computers, and some of these lessons are even catered to seniors. Senior IT Sessions are offered in senior centers, tech company locations, local universities, and community colleges. You can find a tech class near you by surfing the web, checking the newspaper, or dialing 411.

Read a How-To Book

If you’re not quite ready to take an IT class and prefer learning on your own, pick up an IT book at your local bookstore or library. There are plenty of great books that explain how common technology works and include step-by-step walkthroughs on how to use it.

Use Online Tutorials

If you’re technically savvy enough to access the internet but want to learn more about how to use your phone, there are lots of great online tutorials and videos that can teach you how. Youtube is always a great way to start but you can also sign up for an at-your-own-pace online class that offers comprehensive learning modules.

No matter how you decide to learn, you should consider embracing today’s technology because you might be surprised by how much it improves your day-to-day. Even just knowing the basics will make you feel more confident and more in-tune with the world around you.

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