Increasing Understanding of Technology and Communication

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We Must Render the Digital Divide Obsolete!
08/30/2015
11:44 am
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Linda Angela
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We are witnessing unprecedented development and diffusion of technology into all aspects of everyday life. Currently computers, communications, safety, and health monitoring devices are being used to perform routine tasks and activities. The use of technology has become an integral component of work, education, communication, and entertainment.
Digital inequalities can effect normal functions of daily life regardless of age; finding work, building businesses, shopping, accessing health care, learning, socializing, even personal relationships.
To date, however, evidence shows that the potential benefits of technology for older adults has just started being realized. The widespread use of technology in the larger segment of society suggests the lack of technology use among older adults will have increasingly negative implications. By 2030 one out of every five people in the U.S. will be 65-plus.
As noted in the 2009 edition of ‘The Bridge’ by the National Academy of Engineering “Older adults have largely been ignored as a viable group by designers of technology systems. Even though older adults may have more technology experience in the future, they may still have problems adopting or negotiating technologies with new features.” That is unless systems designers begin to perceive older adults as an important user group and take their needs into account.
Read Article (Czaja & Sharit | nae.edu | 2014) https://www.nae.edu/Publications/Bridge/TechnologiesforanAgingPopulation/TheAgingofthePopulation.aspx

Unfortunately system designers and the mobile industry are focused on the bottom-line and will do only what is in their best interests. They are beginning to take seniors needs into account, but they will do no more than that. Meaning, they will make the sale and the customer is responsible for learning to use the device.
Think about this; “Of those who died during hurricane Katrina, more than 70% were seniors and many who survived did not get proper medical treatment because health records were lost to the storm.” Could knowledge of technology and a mobile device have made a difference for an older adult before, during or after this situation?
Everyone needs to know how to use a mobile device!

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