Social Change & Technology rated number 10 in the Top 10 concerns of seniors in 2019 for good reason. Recently the United States of America was listed as number 9 on the list of the 10 best countries to live in for people over 60. Second to the last! Here is the complete list:
10. United Kingdom
9. United States
The area of focus utilized to make this distinction appears to be the ease and availability of healthcare to each country’s seniors. While this is true, it isn’t without some extreme drawbacks. Take, for instance, Switzerland. CBS News reports the following:
“Switzerland ranked first as the best country live in if you’re 60 or older, with the report’s authors citing the country’s policies and programs that promote older adults health and an enabling environment. A 60-year-old living here can expect to live an average of 25 more years, with 19 of those years expected to be in good health. Switzerland also has an above regional average rate of social connectedness and civic freedom satisfaction among older people. Yet, despite having 100 percent pension coverage for adults over the age of 65, Switzerland still has a 16.1 percent old age poverty rate – higher than the regional average.”
How does this relate to SOCIAL CHANGE AND TECHNOLOGY?
It is interesting to note that the greater the influence technology has had upon a society, the less seniors in that society feel engaged. It is as if we, the seniors, missed a giant leap from our world of analogue to the Generation X’s and Millennial’s world of wireless. The Pew Research Center states:
“Today, 59% of seniors report they go online—a six-percentage point increase in the course of a year—and 47% say they have a high-speed broadband connection at home. In addition, 77% of older adults have a cell phone.
But despite these gains, seniors continue to lag behind younger Americans when it comes to tech adoption. And many seniors remain largely unattached from online and mobile life—41% do not use the internet at all, 53% do not have broadband access at home, and 23% do not use cell phones.”
Our slowness to adopt technology leads to a somewhat self-imposed isolation from what used to be social communication. To the younger generation we become viewed as less significant and less productive in the world they are forging. The Pew Research Center goes on to state:
“Among seniors with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90% go online and 82% have broadband at home. For seniors earning less than $30,000 annually, 39% go online and 25% have broadband at home.”
While Switzerland is currently the number one country for seniors, their 16.1% poverty rate, in addition to the increase of their senior population, indicates a lower influence of technology is occurring. SWI, in their August 28, 2017 online survey states that this aging population is keeping Swiss millennials up at night.
So, what can we do about it? Seniors, it isn’t going to change. We can choose to further remove ourselves from technology, from progress, and in so doing from a younger generation that just-might-need a little wisdom, or we can choose to step out of our comfort zone and learn a little bit about technology. Since communication is vitally important to us, why not communicate with a younger person in your life and ask them to help you upgrade your technological prowess? You will have established a line of communication while actually learning a bit more about this ever changing world in which they live.
Adult schools are sometimes a good alternative. However, too often instructors become mired in an explanation of how a device works without investing adequate time on practical, functional applications.
“I’M NOT INTERESTED IN BUILDING A COMPUTER! I’m interested in utilizing the functions my computer has available!”
If you choose to take classes make certain you ask for examples of what you will come away with. How will it contribute to your daily living? Friends, our younger generations cannot afford to slow their pace so that we can more easily
keep up. They too are pressed to remain current with technology; technology waits for no one. Therefore, It is our responsibility to reach out. It is our responsibility to extend ourselves beyond the make-believe-boundaries we have allowed ourselves to believe exist. It’s time to start luv’n liv’n in new and exciting ways!
Loads of luv’n