Life & Lifestyle

Connecting the Dots: Use Technology for the Things You Love

As the world grows increasingly digitized, it’s easy to assume everyone can access the latest technology.

But many adults often face significant barriers to accessing and using technology, leading to isolation and feelings of disconnection from the world around them.

According to recent Pew Research Center data, more than 25% of people aged 65 and older admit they never go online.

Why are seniors hesitant to embrace technology? And how can they harness it to stay connected and engaged with their passions and loved ones?

The answer lies in recognizing the endless possibilities technology provides. Seniors can use tech to reconnect with their favorite hobbies and interests while learning new skills from their homes. Online learning platforms offer courses from creative writing to cooking to art history; many are free to attend. With just an internet connection, seniors can unlock a new world of learning and creativity.

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Technology can also help people of all ages earn extra income by selling handmade crafts, vintage goods, and even “secret recipes” online. E-commerce marketplace platforms such as Etsy and eBay are perfect for those looking to turn their passions into sources of income — and turning your passion into a business creates a tremendous sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

But technology isn’t just about making money or learning new skills. It’s also a powerful tool for staying connected with loved ones and returning to our roots.

Video chat apps like Zoom and Skype have made it possible to keep in touch with friends and family around the globe, even when in-person visits aren’t possible. Users of all ages frequently host Zoom parties, family reunions, or game nights without leaving their homes. While it’s not quite the same as greeting a loved one with a hug, video chatting has become a lifeline for many during the isolating and challenging years surrounding the pandemic.

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Beyond socializing online, technology also opens a whole new world of in-person community-building. Online news sources and podcasts keep people updated on the latest developments. At the same time, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to connect with others who share similar interests. Whether it’s a love of gardening, a passion for classic cars, or an interest in local politics, there are online groups to meet others with the same interests.

Of course, technological barriers exist, such as privacy and security concerns or a lack of familiarity with new devices and software. But the good news is countless resources are now available to help seniors overcome these challenges.

AARP, in partnership with Older Adult Technology Services (OATS) and Senior Planet, has launched a new initiative to provide free technology classes to adults aged 50 and above. This program aims to equip older adults with the necessary skills to utilize the technology available to them fully. In Dallas, the nonprofit organization Jewish Family Service offers these free classes to anyone, regardless of age or religious affiliation.

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By improving their technology proficiency, seniors can stay connected, pursue their passions, and engage with the world around them both online and offline. The in-person classes offered by Jewish Family Services’ Career Financial Service Department cover various topics, such as how to start an online business, online banking, or payment methods, and much more. To view the complete list of classes, visit

“High-speed internet is becoming a requirement for habitability,” Phil Konecki, a career coach, said. Konecki teaches in-person and online courses about using technology to improve quality of life and job skills. With the pandemic-induced shift to remote work and online learning, the ability to access high-speed internet has become more critical than ever.

Konecki said without reliable internet connectivity, individuals may face significant challenges in the modern job market, where most jobs require some level of online communication. It is also essential for accessing healthcare, staying connected with loved ones, and storing vital information.

“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury, but a necessity,” Konecki said.

With our devices as powerful tools at our fingertips, we can use technology to continue doing the things we love, enabling us to thrive in our rapidly changing digital world.



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