In this time where we have moved most of our lives to digital platforms, older generations are struggling to learn how to adapt to technology. Many people of the generation feel intimidated by the technology we feel so comfortable using such as food delivery apps and group video calls.
I was reading a New York Times article about this new sort of digital divide and according to the Times a 2017 Pew Research Study found three-quarters of those older than 65 said that they need someone else to set up electronic devices. Also a third of them said they were “only a little or not at all confident” in their ability to use the web and electronics.
Those who are 65 and older are the most at risk according to the CDC, and therefore find themselves the most excluded from the outside world as they self quarantine. Many nursing homes have restricted visitors or have completely closed off from them. This group of people are seeking human interaction and communication with loved ones during this time through technology to remain positive, but of course this technology is many times new to them and hard to grasp.
To help bridge this digital gap, families are helping older relatives find easy-to-use apps and devices, companies and community members are helping set up calls, and officials are calling for people to help older neighbors in the community with their technology if they need it.
One of the companies that helps older people navigate technology is Candoo. The New York company has recently helped their customers navigate platforms like Zoom with downloadable guides, phone calls, or even sometimes by sharing the costumers screen and showing them where to click.
I think these companies, as well as people just helping those that need it, is crucial. During this time we are counting on the ability to talk to loved ones through technology, and bridging the gap of a digital divide with older populations helps families be able to stay in touch.