If there’s one thing that the pandemic has brought to light, it’s that we rely heavily on technology. Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: all these tech platforms have helped us stay in touch with our loved ones.
Even before we were confined to our homes, many of us were FaceTiming the kids and the grandchildren, or relatives and friends overseas.
Late to the technology party?
Most of us in the Baby Boomer age group couldn’t live without our internet, smart phones and easy access to information. A few of our parents and people of their age, though, have been reluctant to embrace the new technologies. However, even this older group is understanding the benefits of new devices and connectedness. You only need to go to an Apple store on a Saturday morning when they hold the classes for iPads, iPhones and laptops. You’d be lucky to find anyone under 70.
Platforms that connect us
While we know from previous research that the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook was the over-55 group, we’re more recently seeing teenagers return to the platform. And although there were a few holdouts with some regarding Facebook as a type of ‘evil empire’, the sheer ease of use of Facebook has forced some of us to join. If you’re one of the latecomers – it’s where everyone is hanging out right now.
Those of us with iPhones are probably using this feature already to stay in touch with family and friends.
Zoom has been the real tech winner – because it’s really easy to use. Skype is great, but if you’re a novice in video calls, Zoom is the one you can use in minutes. The great thing about Zoom is the ‘Touch up my appearance’ feature in the Video settings.
Even those who refuse to join Facebook have adopted WhatsApp, if somewhat reluctantly. Many families set up WhatsApp groups so they can share news, photos and links to interesting videos and more and all get the same news at the same time. While you could do the same thing by using your phone, WhatsApp is cheaper to use. The Australian Government has also set up a WhatsApp channel if you want to keep up with the latest news.
Platforms for information and entertainment
Even those seniors who don’t have internet at home will go online regularly (although now libraries are closed, they might be more restricted. They look for ideas, music and more on various platforms.
Although it’s technically a social networking site, Pinterest is used more for fun. According to its ‘manifesto’, “Pinterest helps you find the inspiration to create a life you love. Find recipes, style tips, projects for your home and other ideas to try.”
All those cake recipes have to come from somewhere. (In case you weren’t aware from looking at the bare shelves in your local supermarket, the world has turned to baking cakes and biscuits as a form of solace. France leads the way but Australians are doing their bit to use up all the butter, flour, eggs and sugar available.)
While this platform has diminished in popularity over the pandemic period, Instagram still a source of information although the format doesn’t allow for much more than a great image and a line of text. It is where all the humorous memes hang out, though, so worth a look.
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While selling and buying isn’t on many people’s radar right now, we know that some of you have no choice. So just be reassured that we’re here to help – no obligations. And if we can help with other matters, please let us know.