For tech literacy, most companies say that if your mom can’t figure out what you do, then maybe your message needs improving. With COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, many moms not only understand the tech world better but are using it in ways we’ve never expected. Is your mom a geek? Check to see where she stands on the geek-o-meter, especially during this crazy time.
Tech Literacy? Our Geek-O-Meter List
- Did she conquer Facetime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, WebEx, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Telehealth and RingCentral in one fell swoop?
- Does she take Skype cooking classes with top chefs from around the world?
- Did she dust off the 3D printer to make face shields using plastic sheet protectors?
- Did she order a pair of long-distance friendship lamps? In case you’re wondering, it’s connected by Wi-Fi. Each time you wave your hand above it, your mother’s lamp will generate the same color, and she will know that you’re thinking of her (and vice-versa).
- Did she order a mesh router or Wi-Fi extender so she could be online from every corner of her home or property?
- Does she delight her new role as home schoolteacher, but mostly for greater access to the school? She’s found all kinds of online resources and supplements learning materials sent home. She knows the lesson plans and continually looks to online platforms like Khan Academy to help her kids stay ahead.
- Has she become a Skimm’r and often quotes the latest topics from the online newsletter during dinner?
- Is she super passionate about an unusual subject? Maybe it’s the origin of Elon Musk’s baby’s name.
- Has she started a new collection like Tom Hanks’ manual typewriters?
- Has she taken over the roll of electronic fixer in your home?
In all seriousness, increasing your tech literacy in the age of coronavirus is a good thing. There are moms who use computers and smartphones every day. There are moms who use it some, but are getting better with all this stay-at-home practice. And there are moms who had a device but weren’t really using it. For the over 65, there is big opportunity to learn and be connected to others through technology.
Studies show more seniors than ever have adopted smartphones – 42% according to Pew Research – and 67% say they have internet access. At the same time, only a quarter of adults over 65 say they feel confident about using electronics to go online. ClickAway has trained many in the Bay Area in store, remotely online and in home. Maybe you have spent time training mom and grandma too?
Being online is especially crucial to those living alone. Nearly 13.8 million Americans over the age of 65 — about 28% of that population — live by themselves, according to 2017 estimatesopens PDF file from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Connection with others is crucial. For many, the larger challenge isn’t learning a new app; it’s having the tools to do it in the first place.