Stop relying on paid labor from parents to educate parents

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Stop relying on paid labor from parents to educate parents

  • Tech services are increasingly relying on young, tech-savvy people to explain products to the older population.
  • Media images of older people who do not understand technology are often self-fulfilling prophecies.
  • Make tech services more accessible to all age groups.
  • Ingrid Cruz is a freelance writer based in Mississippi.
  • This is an opinion column. The views expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on the Insider Business page.

The first time I didn’t feel it was because it was so important. About tax, my family’s accountant asked my mother to help me scan the documents. Most recently, my parents’ mortgage officer and cable provider offered my parents technical assistance from their children.

These seemingly benign applications are part of a troubling trend for tech companies and services that rely on technology that young people or tech-savvy people expect to hire to help their clients.

Everything is online

Thousands of apps, gadgets and services have been developed on a daily basis that rely on people to learn the basic techniques to use them and perform simple essential tasks.

At the height of the epidemic, the use of services such as applications for unemployment benefits skyrocketed, causing websites to collapse as state and local governments struggled to keep up with demand, and those Added to the frustration for those who already have a problem with technology.

Many private and public service providers expect people to download apps or access laptops to access account information. Anyone without access to reliable internet or computer can have difficulty dealing with their bank account or customer service issues. As the use of automated customer service increases rapidly, it becomes more difficult to find a real person to talk to.

Vaccine rollout is another example of not considering senior citizens and people who have little or no access to technology. Fortunately, it has now changed that many locations have moved to walk-in or new appointment models, but with the start of the vaccine rollout, appointments had to be booked online. Although many states, such as California, have sought well-funded hotlines, the reality is that booking of vaccine appointments has begun for young adults, including relatives and community members, and women in general. Yes, it was imposed on.

Media reflection Older people who don’t know how to use tech spoil things

We often joke about the lack of interest of older people in learning how to use technology properly, but these negative stereotypes can have a detrimental effect on the aging population. According to Penn State University, advertisers show young people using smartphones, while 62% of adults over the age of 70 use smartphones, yet older people are often shown using larger phone models such as smartphones. Goes

A 2006 study found that the West often portrays senior citizens as having less technology and a greater risk of having difficulty remembering things. People are living longer these days, and it has ample evidence that senior citizens can be healthy and skilled in the things they pursue. However, negative stereotypes can hold people back when they begin to act on stereotypes.

The fact is that senior citizens continue to learn in the workforce and can become an asset. As you get older, a direct lack of confidence about knowledge, and self-fulfilling prophecies, are often new barriers for senior citizens when it comes to learning new skills.

Thankfully, the tech industry can better serve everyone

We know that the tech industry needs to be a more accessible career choice for women, the LGBTQ + community, and ethnic and racial minorities, but there is also the issue of age diversity in this industry. The average age of employees in big tech companies is 27-39. Designers of the user experience are considered “old” once in their 30s, although people of all ages can work. It is very unlikely to hear the views of a large population in places where they are not seen. The tech industry will benefit greatly from hiring candidates from all age groups – including senior citizens who can provide valuable input on development, the gaps in technology that can serve them, and the challenges they face on a daily basis. Provides a unique perspective on tech issues.

Similarly, tech companies need to include all ages in consumer testing. To ensure user testing, it’s important for tech products to get key feedback that can help creators adapt their creations. Some apps only hire five to seven people to test their user friendliness.

That’s not enough to design apps each one And is especially important in the areas of finance, healthcare, government, communications, and social media. It can be difficult to get data on users testing apps, so it’s not clear if the tech sector is among those aged when they design user tests. Most importantly, designing apps with digital experience at all levels can help people of all ages communicate easily with public and private services.

The epidemic and the consequent shift to remote work meant that senior citizens and those with little access to technology were cut off from critical services. Phone-based services are a great way to bridge this gap and provide support. Studies show that people are more likely to interact with strangers than good people, which means that any misconceptions about a new gadget or service Special products may be provided by a trained person to assist.

We need to change the way we talk about the elderly and technology. Let’s focus on eliminating inaccurate and harmful stereotypes that prevent people from learning to use technology properly, and try to be more patient with our parents and older relatives.

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