For many people, computing is a tool that allows folks to have a hobby either directly, for example, by getting information from the internet or indirectly, i.e. a person likes to cook and therefore visits the Food Channel on line for recipes. What about computing for seniors? What can a senior do with a computer and the internet?
First of all, who are senior citizens? Many people are confused by the term “senior”. Very often we see advertisements saying, for example, “Over 55 senior discount available”. Others may think of “seniors” as folks at retirement age which technically would be 62 to 65 years old and some think of seniors as living in retirement homes. For the sake of this article I’m going to consider “seniors” as being age 50 and older (in part because one can join American Association of Retired People at age 50).
For some at any age, using a computer is a frightening undertaking, unfortunately. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to think that seniors would have an even more difficult time understanding computers and computing. For myself (I am 60) I have been involved with computers since the days of the Commodore 64 (around 1980) and even owned a TRS 80 Color computer from Radio Shack (with an amazing 16K of memory)! For me using a computer is not so daunting – not the same for many others however.
The difference between today and years gone by is that modern computers have so many more applications available than ever. During the 80′s the computer allowed us to do simple word processing and fool around with spread sheet calculations as well as game playing. The 90′s gave us the internet and that changed the way we thought about the usefulness of computers forever. Today we have cell phones with operating systems that give us the world in a package we can hold in one hand. Computers are also somewhat easier to use today (not always!) since many applications are graphically driven and operated with mouse click
How does this apply to seniors and how can seniors take advantage of the computer world today? Let’s look at what seniors have available to them through computing.
Social Networking: Facebook, MySpace or just simple emailing is out there. They cost nothing, can be fun and informative and can keep seniors connected with people going back to their high school years.
Blogging: A great way for seniors to express their interests and spread the word. A blog does not have to be public and can be a great way to share information with family and friends.
Article Publishing: Article publishing for seniors? (Wait a minute – didn’t I tell you that I was a senior?!?). Why not is my answer. Seniors have a life full of knowledge and experience that can be shared over cyber space.
These are just a few examples why seniors should be involved in computing and why they should own a computer. I’m sure that there are more reasons than those mentioned, but, for the sake of space of this article I’ll leave you with those.
What kind of system would be good for a senior to own? For a suggestion please visit my website at wesavemoney4u.com/buyers-guide/seniors/
The author, Mike Stancik, has been computing for over 25 years. He also has a degree in Digital Electronics and has designed and built his website [http://wesavemoney4u.com]
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