Sunday, July 29, 2012

Geezer Tech

I read an interesting article on U.S. News' "Planning To Retire" blog regarding how seniors use technology.

The most entertaining finding (and one that is certainly true for me) is that seniors are less likely to use the internet (53% of us compared to 82% of younger adults). But once we get with the program, 70% of us are on the internet on any given day.

Yep! Definitely moi! If my house caught on fire, I'd grab my computer first.

As seniors, we are also late to the cell phone party. I suspect (based not on any studies, but on my own use) that we are less likely to have fancy smart-phones. I still use a tracfone, which works just fine, and costs me a lot less than the cells my daughters insist on using. But I do feel safer having access to mobile technology and at this point, I wouldn't want to be without it. On the other hand, I haven't given up my landline.

I was surprised to see that seniors are less likely to use e-readers. Personally, I love my Kindle Fire. It hasn't replaced books in my home by any means, but it works great for commuting to and from work. Plus, there's the ever-addictive "Angry Birds!"

But I fit right in with my age group in that Facebook isn't really my thing. I check out my daughters' pages, and those of my grandchildren. Yet I rarely check my own page and the only updates tend to come from pictures my kids share.

I think the bottom line is not that most seniors are anti-technology, but we are less likely to need all the new toys the day they come out. That could explain why so many of us are still on our desktops instead of laptops or tablets.


Maura said...

Hi Grace. I had to laugh at your "late to the party" comment. I (in a moment of weakness) upgraded to an I-phone. I don't really use it the way most people do (GLUED TO IT). Thankfully, due to a corporate discount, it doesn't cost me any more than a basic Verizon plan. As soon as my contract is up in November, I am getting aTracPhone.
I read an article yesterday that stated that lots of kids are getting off of Facebook because their parent are using it, so it's become "uncool"
Got a Kindle for a birthday gift, which is wonderful, but I haven't taken the time to figure it out yet...
Good Post Grace!

Sandy said...

I have to agree. I'd be lost without my iPad or computer. Hate the phone. Only use it to text but most of the time it is dead. And as to Facebook--only used to post pics of family get togethers and keep an eye on my grown kids and nieces and nephews. But I love to blog and love Pinterest--the new kid on the social networking block. We don't get old, just more connected!

Janette said...

I love my I pad. Own a Tracphone and use Facebook- constantly.
My mom (83) uses her computer occasionally (my bil put on so many cool programs she cannot get on easily), has an unused iPhone and never uses Face book.

My computer os how I connect with most of my world.

Sue said...

Love my computer my tablet. I am on Facebook, Think Be Do (over 40 years old community), was on eons (over 50 years old community), I am on Pinterest and look at many blogs all the time. I have a simple phone but hardly talk on it but I text at least 3 or more people a day. I have several books on my Tablet but I prefer pulp books but I read NY Times and my hometown newspaper online and many magazines. I don't like all that paper around the house. I just found your blog via Bob's blog Satisfying Retirement. I like it and I'll be checking in again. My 86 year old MIL loves to look at comments on Facebook but she doesn't respond. She has a tablet for book reading, and a cell phone she almost never uses.

I have a friend who is going through debt reduction right now. She can't believe how fast she got to this point of high debt but she is determined to pay it off. She is 78.

Frank Wippich said...

The use of technology among the generation 50+ is indeed an interesting development. Although devices such as the iPad made it easier to make use of the vast opportunities mobile technology offers. Yet, there is still a lot to be done.

My team and I have thus put up an idea challenge that asks people to come up with solutions about devices or application that can improve independence and activity of an aging population, while staying connected to friends, family and the community in a simple way.

You might have an idea too! Everybody can submit and can win a trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, January 8-11.

Here is the link:

Suzanne said...

Found your blog via Syd and particularly enjoyed this post. I agree that my laptop would be the first thing I'd grab if the house was burning. It provides so much of my daily entertainment - Pinterest, Shutterfly (creating on-line photo books), Blog reading and writing,Checking out the family on Facebook, researching our next road trip, finding recipes - just learning in general.

I still read books that were made from trees, but understand the attraction and convenience for folks who travel a lot. No Iphone, but hubby has one. We find it invaluable when traveling.

Technology is something that we older folks enjoy but don't necessarily need, so we can pick and choose - unfortunately, the younger generation has become so dependent on technology they must have the latest and greatest gadget as soon as it hits the market. I think we're better off.