How can I keep up with my loved ones? Many of my clients face this dilemma. They grew up without personal computers or even, believe it or not, cell phones. I thought smart phones were the phones with buttons to push instead of a dial to turn. Nevertheless, if you want to keep up with the younger generation you have to learn to stay in touch using technology. There is absolutely nothing to fear.
Devices are so intuitive at this point that you can learn what you need to know quickly. Social media has changed the way we communicate. If you want to know what your family is up to all you need to do is sign up with whatever social media they use. It used to be easy as everyone was on Facebook. My understanding is that once our generation got on Facebook that the younger generation moved on to different social media. Get signed up with Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter. Signing up is easy and finding the folks with whom you want to stay in touch is also pretty straightforward. Believe me, your children and grandchildren are on social media.
Do they call you on the phone? I’m guessing that if they ever call it is infrequent at best. But I bet they are on social media daily. You want to be the hip grandma or grandpa? “Friend” or “follow” your grandchildren. (Friending is the Facebook process of asking permission to link your social media account with theirs so they can see what you are doing and you can see what they are posting. Following is the same thing but for the social media outlets besides Facebook)
Back to the fear. The reason many seniors I talk to stay away from social media is that they are just not comfortable using technology period. Whether it’s a “smart phone” or a PC, they stay away. Let me put your mind at ease. Again, there is nothing to fear. We live in a county with tremendous resources. Gwinnett County even has classes designed to get attendees comfortable with technology and computer use. These classes are restricted to those aged 50+ so the people you are in class with are like you. Many are starting out with little to no knowledge about using technology in today’s world.
Classes are taught through the Gwinnett Senior Learning Center and start in a few weeks. You can call (770)564-4699 to find out which classes are offered at each location. Classes are offered at Bethesda Senior Center in Lawrenceville and George Pierce Park Community Center in Suwanee.
What I hear so often from my clients is that they lament the loss of contact with family. I encourage you to take the initiative. Embrace technology and accept that the world is a vastly different place than it was when we grew up. Your life will be enriched as will the lives of your family members by using technology rather than fearing it.
Tim Golden is the owner of BrightStar Care, Lawrenceville. You can reach Tim at (404)281-1537 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please visit http://www.brightstarcare.com/lawrenceville/