Tech for the older adults: Can you handle more?

If you’re reading this, you’re an experienced net tourist, not a newbie to the wonders of the web and email. But, if you’re like me, you wonder if you want or need more. Should you complicate your life with Skype, Facebook, Twitter, texting, smart phones and e-readers?

 

By Douglas Woods

 

Hard to know what to do…

How to decide? All of us have different ideas about what’s important to add to our vocabulary of tech opportunities. Since this is a not a scholarly look at the subject,  I’ll just tell what has worked for me and some of my family and friends.

Skype…I resisted this for months, not wanting to add one more thing I’d have to stress out learning. I was wrong. Skype, with free downloadable software, is easy to learn and is a terrific way to stay in visual and audio touch with friends, families and clients.

 

By Joe Shlabotnik

 

No matter where they are, if they’ve signed up with Skype and are online and if you’ve done the same thing, you can call them. If they accept the call, up comes their live moving and talking image and if you click a small icon for video, they can see you. I think it’s much better than talking on the phone as you can see expressions and body language. Everybody in the room can crowd into the picture if they want to.

Skype is a great way to stay in touch with traveling family, with people overseas or with people who can’t get to your holiday gatherings. I love Skype and it’s free. No long distance charges. Downside: you need to keep your hair combed and don’t Skype naked, though Skyping with a sexy loved one does offer some chances at visual play which I leave to your imagination.

Facebook I have friends who love Facebook as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, to post photos, to report on activities and just keep up. I admit I have stigmatized the site as for only for young people who want to have 700 friends.

 

By Day Taylor

 

But different tech for different folks and the only way to know is to try it. However,  if your kids and grandkids use it and invite you to join in on Facebook, feel honored and give it a try.

Twitter….I can’t warm up to Twitter, generally short, short messages about what’s going on in your life. I don’t want to intrude on my own life to report on it every second. (Once a week here on this blog is enough.) But Twitter has proven useful in revolutions, wars and disasters as ordinary people turn into reporters, telling the world what’s happening as it happens. I’ll Twitter come the revolution, but not until then.

Texting…This is using the tiny keyboard on a cell phone to write short messages such as OMG i luv u. My kids and grandkids are switching to texting from voice cell phone and that tells me I’d better learn to have flying thumbs on the keyboard if I want to stay on their communication wave length. I am beginning to think that email is the way they now humor their granny. (Why doesn’t the old dame text, anyhow? Maybe arthritis in the thumbs?)

Smart phones…What can I say except my iPhone and I are joined at the hip. I love all its functions…voice, email, camera, web surfing, reluctant texting plus a much used iPod so, bells on my fingers and rings on my toes, I will have music wherever I go. I haven’t progressed to an iPad because I have an iPhone and an e-reader, the Kindle, so can’t see the need for an iPad.

E-Readers

 

By goXunuReviews

 

I’m aflame over the Kindle and like it because of its extraordinary battery life, many available books, instant ordering without a computer, and because it’s so darn light, you can carry it with you wherever and whenever. Some people prefer the iPad with its backlit screen, but that feature is such an energy hog, the battery life is not great. If I want to read in the dark, I attach a Mighty Bright reading light, the best I’ve run into.

What the Kindle has done for me is start an orgy of reading—not just Kindle books, but more library books plus many used books from Amazon, the ones I’d like to physically hand on to others.

So that’s just one geezer’s run-down of her tech adventures. You may have different ideas and I bid you good luck and fun with each and every one.

 

By D. Sharon Pruitt

 

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