Tell me about old people using computers in lockdown. What new skills are they learning? What new apps and online games and services are they using?
(I say “they” but I include you, if you are old like me.)
Many old people have a fresh new relationship with their computers in the year of COVID-19. Their computer (or smartphone or tablet or other device) is no longer seen as a nuisance or even an enemy but as a brilliant friend, full of surprisingly helpful tricks. I know that’s a sweeping generalisation. But for many, it’s true.
All through the merry month of May, M365MAY AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND will present talks and workshops in a grand tech-for-business conference, lockdown style. Obviously you will watch from your own bubble, and it’s all free.
When I was invited to present, I was thrilled! Ecstatic! Fainting with delight! And you know why. I had been scheduled to speak at two conferences and a book festival this year, plus a book launch and various associated readings. Then everything changed: the pandemic struck and I became an old person in need of protection and all those delightful professional events were cancelled or postponed.
That’s what makes M365MAY so cool, from my point of view. So, you mean, after all, there’s another world out there, a world I used to know? I was gobsmacked—bring it on.
I’m gathering stories of older people upskilling in lockdown
I’ve given myself 20 minutes to cover six aspects of this topic, culminating in stories of old people using computers differently in lockdown. I keep hearing about older people who, since the pandemic reared its ugly head, have acquired new digital skills. I know people in their 70s and 80s who for the first time have learned to:
- use online banking
- host ZOOM meetings
- join ZOOM and MS Teams meetings for every conceivable purpose
- exercise and dance and sing to YouTube videos
- join Twitter and start tweeting
- read and comment on blogs
- listen to podcasts.
Please tell me your stories about old people using computers in new ways
What changes of this nature have you noticed? Tell me about new digital skills that people over 65 are learning in the coronavirus pandemic. I want to know more about old people using computers creatively in 2020.
This historic time, dark and scary, is a teachable moment because when we need to learn something, we tend to learn quickly. There are so many rewards right now for those with the confidence to tackle something new online. When we are physically isolated, all sorts of online activities can take on great personal significance. Think of Facetime with your grandchildren or Zoom with your book group or taking online course or playing Scrabble online with your friends or starting a blog.
- If you’re over 65, what new things are you doing on your computer (or phone or tablet or other digital device) since the coronavirus pandemic began? What have you discovered? Any new websites? Phone apps? Online courses? Shopping services? Video calls? Photography? Hobbies? Clubs? Entertainment? What else?
- You may be observing or helping an older friend or relative who is confined to home. What changes have you noticed in their use of technology in the pandemic?
EITHER tell me your story in the comments section
OR by email: rachel [AT] writing [DOT] co [DOT] nz.
(Read that out loud and you’ll figure it out.)
In advance, thank you for sharing your stories
I see this as a moment to give ageism another clout on the head, don’t you?