I’ve seen several headlines recently about seniors who are frustrated because they can’t get COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Because the majority of places offering appointments are doing so online.
I realize that it won’t eliminate the frustration, but I’d like to think that everyone realizes the reason that county health departments and retailers are using online technologies to schedule vaccine appointments is because its faster. Individuals can schedule their appointments at their convenience. The scheduling process involves fewer people, which allows those people to focus on the task of putting shots in arms. Which is what we all want.
In an article on The Verge, I learned that only about half of individuals age 75 plus use the internet. Of course, not using or having access to the internet is not only frustrating for older individuals, but for organizations. In a study from McKinsey & Company, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology advancements seven years. Think about that. The McKinsey study is saying that we’ve put seven years of technological advancements in the past year alone.
While I understand that having access to technology is an equally important issue, we’re going to save that conversation for another day. Individuals need to figure out how to get more comfortable using technology. It’s not about age. It’s about being able to get the things that you need and want using the technology that is available.
Social media isn’t just some fad. It continues to grow as a communication medium, connecting business and personal brands with a vast global network. Whatever your goals, you can scale your social media activity up or down. Right now, we’re really experiencing the value of connection. Learn how to carry that forward into your own retirement and unretirement.
As much as technology and social media have enriched our lives, those tools have also created challenges in being media literate. Each of us has been susceptible to misinformation on the internet. My guess is that won’t be ending anytime soon. This isn’t something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Even professional journalists have had it happen. And the answer isn’t to stop using the internet. It’s to get better about questioning what we read and see.
For the first time globally in 2018, the number of people over 65 has surpassed those under 5 and that number has only grown since. The healthy aging trend has not been lost on Madison Avenue and other leading marketers throughout the globe. As a result, many brands are viewing seniors as a prized demographic. They are expanding their product offerings along with their marketing budgets to reach the over-65 consumer. And even a few brands that target a much younger audience are developing new product lines with healthy aging in mind.
You don’t need to get a degree in engineering to become proficient with smart home technologies. But for all of those people who might be saying, “Ah, who needs the internet?!” keep in mind that smart homes are the wave of the future. It’s what people want. And it’s what companies are making. At some point, it is possible that all we might be able to buy are smart home technologies. No one wants to age behind a steep learning curve.
Organizations have the ability to create wonderful, valuable products and services for the aging population. My prediction is that many of those products and services will involve technology. Our ability to use technology could have a significant impact on our aging and retirement. It would be better to learn more about technology when you can do it comfortably at your own pace.