You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby. Tech Tips for Baby Boomers

60S Wall Phone - Technology

The advances we baby boomers have witnessed in technology are mind-blowing – aren’t they?!  Think back to the 60s when most of us baby boomers were growing up – it was a big deal to have a house phone – and an even bigger deal to have multiple house phones. 

Do you remember having the phone mounted to the wall and then getting a really long curled cord so you could walk away from the base to try and get some privacy?

If you wanted to talk with a friend – you called their home phone and likely had to speak politely to an adult to get to the person you wanted to talk with – and sometimes theie phone was busy and you had to call back at another time. 

Fast forward to 2020 – it’s not unusual for people to no longer have a home phone at all! Instead, each adult has their own number so you can reach them directly. Often kids have their own number as well. Kids talk to each other instantly via text or chat. 

The Blessings of Technology

FaceTime – Zoom – Skype – These all provide easy and inexpensive ways to stay in touch! We can see the ones we love as well as hear their voices!  If you have grandkids, I strongly recommend spending regular time with them on facetime calls. It’s such a convenient and satisfying way to stay in touch even during times like these.

Facetime With Grandkids
Facetime with the Grandkids

Working from home has never been easier with apps like Slack where you can easily touch base with co-workers and keep projects on track.

Smart home apps – I love being able to use my phone to program lights etc in my home.  We stopped using the bulky timers because they make loud clicking noises.  Also, sometimes when we would take a spur of the moment trip we would forget to plug the timer in  (we had unplugged it because of the clicking.)

Instead my Gosund smart connect is completely silent and works over my homes wifi. I have lights that go on and off everyday and I only needed to program them once. If a light goes on that I don’t need at the moment – it’s easy to turn it off from my phone and it will go back on by itself the next day.  

Fitbit – The smart watch is such a great way to keep track of health goals and progress. I love the accountability and to know that there is evidence of a workout even if the scale doesn’t immediately reflect it. 

The Curses of Technology

Technology is always advancing and the things we learn today may just be the stepping stones for things we need to learn in the future.

Part of me wants to stay current and be aware of the advances of technology. It’s helps me to feel empowered and youthful. The other part of me wants to stick my head in the ground and say, “Please no more technology! “

I know that learning something new is good for my mind – but there is a part of me that is resistant to change mostly because when I learn something new I am always aware of how much more i don’t understand.  But once I become proficient with the new technology there is a really good sense of accomplishment. 

Still the benefits of staying current with technology far outweigh the drawbacks.  

If you have that love/hate relationship with technology like I do I want to remind you that anything you learn to attempt to stay in communication with other people or do to make your life easier is well worth the investment of time.

You are smarter than you think!!! You can learn it.

Three tips when attempting to learn new technology:

  1. Whether it’s a new gadget or an app – ask others who use it what they like about it – this will sometimes give you the motivation to press into the learning.  Ask them if they had any issues learning it – and how they learned to use it.  This is a great way to let your grandkids or friends be an expert. 
  2. Realize there is a learning curve any time we are trying something new. Take time to go through the tutorials – use google or to look up answers to any issues you are having.  You are not alone – I have yet to google a question that someone hasn’t already asked!
  3. Enjoy the tech – yes I realize you could get up and turn off the living room light – instead grab your phone and use the app….you might find it really brings an ease to your life that you didn’t realize you were missing.