Seniors are starting to use the internet more and more these days. The world of technology can be ageist, but that needs to change. People over 60 are the fastest-growing segment of internet users nationwide.
Making a Change
Resources for seniors to learn how to work new technology is sparse, but that’s slowly starting to change. New campaigns are being used, such as “aging with attitude” by new enterprises to focus on the needs of seniors in a digital world.
Centers like this help seniors in becoming savvier with using different technological tools, so they can create new opportunities for themselves.
Is Senior Digital Entrepreneurs A Thing?
By teaching older adults how to use technology they can use it to work and make money. More people are working into their later years now, so having the necessary digital skills means they can keep working on their own terms.
Some seniors want to learn the basic skills, but others are seeking more advanced skills like digital design or building a website. By learning how to set-up a digital storefront they can stay active and engaged in earning an income online.
Ageism Needs to Be a Fading Trend
Ageism is still prevalent, but it shouldn’t be. These biases are from a long time ago when digital tools were less user friendly. There is no evidence that the older generation is less tech-savvy.
Unfortunately, older adults get the least amount of call backs when applying for jobs. The tech industry is a magnifying glass on a society that already has ageism problems.
Tech’s Ageism is Problematic
From the way tools are designed and marketed to the fact that seniors are all but excluded from product testing, the entire industry is designed to tip away from older adults. Not only is this inefficient, it’s not cost-effective, as biases lead companies to make snap decisions about who they can employ and who can buy their products.
For every time the tech industry excludes an older worker, or makes it harder for an older user to buy their product, they’re losing market share, so there is a serious economic consequence.
Change is Inevitable
The real challenge with technology is that every year there are thousands of new innovations. As technology advances at an exponential pace, there will be more new tools for everyone to learn, not just those 60 and older.
Figuring out how to help 70-year-olds master email and Spotify today will teach us a lot about how to help 45-year-olds learn to work alongside intelligent machines a decade from now. It would seem, once you’ve got all the tools you need, it’s hard to figure why you would need another. Also, finding the time to integrate it into your life can be difficult.
“Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works; anything that’s invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it; anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.” – Douglas Adams
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