How should older adults bridge the digital divide?
– Vincent S.
As is often true in life: There is no problem with not knowing. The problem is when you do not know that you do not know! For some older adults, lack of technical literacy keeps them from being as relevant and connected as possible. Here are three simple solutions that will help bridge the digital divide:
(1) Take online and brick & mortar classes.
(2) Hire people.
(3) Ask for support.
There are so many great resources online that offer tutorials. YouTube, for example, is a great resource, and LinkedIn has an inexpensive learning platform that offers technical guidance in a variety of areas.
If you prefer brick and mortar classes, community centers and community colleges throughout the country have inexpensive classes, some targeted specifically for older adults.
There are also times in life when we just have to hire people to do the work for us. It might be that you are unable to gain the technical expertise you need to launch your new business or to create a podcast or to offer an online course. Hiring others to do the things that we ourselves are unable to do, don’t want to do, or just don’t have the time to go up the learning curve, can be a brilliant leadership decision.
Finally, learning to ask for support is key to success at any age, and it is important that we all reach out whenever the need or desire arises to get tutorials at work, on-site support, or maybe just a few minutes of guidance from a colleague, neighbor, or family member.
By the way, there are many older adults who are very tech savvy, so let’s leave that stereotyping in the dust. It’s just as much nonsense as to assume there are not millennials who do not like technology very much and who do not have a depth of tech knowledge we tend to assume they have or care about.
Choose your teachers, advisors, and your support team wisely – keeping your sights on skills, not age. (Tip: Hone your Soft Skills to be uber relevant and in high demand!) That is, indeed, the Ageless Way!