A Discussion on Seniors and Their Use of Technology

Recently while researching the topic of seniors and the use of technology for #digiblogchat, a chat that @LazBlazter and I host on Twitter, a number of interesting topics came up. Here are some of the spinoffs from that chat.

Featured Guest Warren Naida

The questions for our recent #digiblogchat are already published, by the way. Our featured guest for the chat was @WarrenLNaida. Since the chat ended, Warren has also published a blog post, which you can find here: We Need to Have a Different Conversation about Seniors and Technology. Warren:”Who is a “senior” and who is not? Our access to technology is dependent on other demographics than age. Usually it’s about money and education. The country and city in which we live. Our schools. Our jobs. Access to the internet.” And if you don’t already know Warren Naida, then you should know that he’s already a successful author, teacher, and SEO expert. By his own admission, he’s not yet eligible for senior discounts in his home country, Germany. But his kid would say he’s ancient!

Jim Katzaman’s Take on the Chat

We are all interested in hearing who gets what from our chats. @JimKatzaman outlined several items, each of which could be a chat all by itself. Jim’s article is here: Seniors Find Tech More to Their Liking in Today’s World. For instance, we talked about cybersecurity, which is an issue for people of all ages, not just seniors (whatever that word means any more). And during the pandemic many people experienced loneliness and isolation. So turning to the use of technology was and still is a great way to meet like-minded people. Virtual Meetups (through Zooms or Facetimes) are just one way people can connect with others, but this requires some ease with technology. During the beginning of the pandemic, we all saw people struggle with new technology on zooms.

Exploring and doing the research for the chat

Before most #digiblogchat chats, I do some research, and this was no exception. A number of people weighed in, as usual (you can see more specific ideas from Jim’s or Warren’s links, above). What I found most interesting was getting to know more about Ashton Applewhite. Applewhite has written a manifesto on ageism called This Chair Rocks. She’s also been been featured on TED Talks. Applewhite makes a number of statements on her website which might surprise you. For instance “People are happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives.” AndOnly 2.5% of Americans over 65 live in nursing homes.” And while reading about Applewhite, I found an entire mountain of information about aging, such as the website Old School, and their section of Books and Blogs.

Ageism works both ways

Although we might think of ageism as something that only affects older folks, younger people suffer from discrimination, too. Think back to a time when someone told you you were too young for an activity. That might’ve been simply going to an amusement park, but it could also apply to driving a car or operating machinery.


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