One of the most frequently asked technology questions by Boomers and older adults is not that technical.
“They want to know ‘If I unfriend someone (on Facebook) would they know?’” says Tak Sato, founder of the Cleveland-based nonprofit Center for Aging in the Digital World, which offers technology instruction to those age 60 and over. “I always chuckle when I get asked that in class.”
While folks in their 50s and 60s represent one of the largest groups to embrace the digital world, Sato says that they need to “relearn” how to nurture online friendships.
“Social media mimics real life. The difference is that in real life, you curate your relationships one person at a time. With social media, you can curate (many) at the snap of your fingers.”
Millennials, who don’t recall a time without cellphones and instant communication, just accept technology as normal, says Sato, but even people in their 40s often must learn to shift their frame of reference to virtual.
“Until a few years ago, it was OK not to embrace the digital world. Now it is essential to use digital,” Sato says, noting that some companies and organizations only accept communication through email or a website.
For example, people often work into their 60s and 70s. To receive unemployment benefits through Cuyahoga County, everyone must register their work search information. For the first two weeks, the process can be done via phone, but after that, job seekers must report the information on the county website.
By the numbers
More than three-quarters of adults 50 and older own some type of computer, and nearly nine in 10 have a mobile device. Almost three out of four adults in their 50s own a smartphone, and over half have a tablet, according to a November 2016 report by G....