Baby boomers and digital technology

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Younger generations are considered to be the masters of digital technology and gadgets, compared to the older generation who, apparently, lags behind in adopting to high-tech. However, we, baby boomers, are getting more and more involved in using digital technology.

Typically, these days, we could be watching our favourite TV programme while checking emails on our phone. Among those messages, we find a promotional alert from one of our favourite shops, and in no time, we would click, select size, colour and enter our credit card information.

However, we value our time and money when it comes to shopping online. The high cost of shipping is the biggest reason for cart abandonment. 

That is why I headed to my nearest Apple Store as my old Microsoft Surface computer had to be replaced. 

First thing I learnt was to never assume that baby boomers are unfamiliar with new technology. As I entered the shop, I was directed to a gentleman who in my opinion I thought he wasn't as savvy as a younger person.

I made enquiries about an Ipad Pro, and I was quite pleased with his knowledge about the product, the time he took to explain the different benefits and features and the excellent customer service I received. As a result, I bought it.

As much as I loved the iPad Pro, I found that it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

As the shop offers free tutorials, I attended one of their tutorials before returning it. As I got there, all the attendees were baby boomers. 

We introduced each other, and we all agreed that technology is allowing us to stay more connected socially, with family, friends and the new go anywhere device for people looking to travel.

I still went ahead and decided to exchange it for a MacBook Pro. I concluded that the two machines serve different users. If I were an artist, I'd choose an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

But I am so used to computers for daily work. I often open several browser tabs for research and the MacBook offers the facility to run multiple operating systems and pro applications. 

Learning about these technologies, for all the other attendees and me in the tutorial was an exciting experience. However, there is a digital divide within the baby boomer generation. 

According to Pew Internet Survey, three out of four boomers between 50 and 64 years old use the internet. Even more compelling is that more than half (53 percent) of American adults age 65 and older are going online. 

That doesn't apply to all baby boomers. In more recent research by the Pew Internet Project, the internet non-users don't think the Internet is relevant to them. They also believe they don't need it to get the information they want to communicate about.

I know this for a fact as some of my friends don't want to do anything with it. Personally, I find myself losing touch with those friends as they refuse to use their phones to text, message, or at least check emails. They only turn on their phones when they want to make a call, and then they put them away. 

What are your thoughts? Do you know baby boomers who are experiencing this divide too? Please share your comments and experiences.

With much appreciation

Luci

 

 

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