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Are you a digital immigrant?

Posted By Marilynh / January 20, 2021 / 0 Comments

Technology is critical in all aspects of our lives today.
Are you connected? 

In 2021, YEI and 50Plus-Skills will collaborate to assist 50-plussers
by engaging in research, talks, workshops and activities in order to
engage in this new world, and to understand the collective challenges we face. 

Would you like join us?


digital immigrants 1200 x 630


This past week, I engaged in an international live health session for an over 60 audience. The company presenting the session were from the USA, but one could connect from anywhere in the world to participate. It was an eye opener. They opened the Zoom room 10 minutes before the start and there was a great conversation going on amongst the audience. The numbers kept climbing. By the time the class started there were more than 300 participants. I noticed that everyone was engaged, chatting and quite comfortable with the process. I know that for an older audience, this is a learnt skill, but this group had been given the opportunity to learn these skills in a fun, interactive way. This is what an online community for older adults can look like.

Longevity and technology are two global macro trends impacting our world daily. The older generation were already in the workplace or close to retirement as the internet emerged in the 1990’s. Smart phones and many other modes of technology are being designed all the time to make our lives easier and more connected. Most of these designs are being done by a younger generation without too much thought about the impact this may have on many consumers.


couple on laptop 1200


This past year, COVID has highlighted how much technology can make a difference in so many areas of our lives. Connecting to those we love. Working remotely. Online shopping and banking. Remote medical consultations and many others. The very group that was isolated the most, do not have the tools, skills, and connectivity to engage in this new world. They have been completely isolated from a new reality.


“Digital immigrants”

This group are called “digital immigrants”. Here is a description of the difference between a digital immigrant and a digital native. A digital immigrant is a person born before the widespread adoption of computers and has had to adopt digital technology later in life. Digital immigrants are less technically able than digital natives and it is argued that they can never develop the same level of technology skills and knowledge as digital natives. (reference: igi-global.com)

This is a term and not everyone falls into a clear category but as a generation, these terms help us to understand the collective challenges we face.


senior on laptop


At 50Plus-Skills this is an area we are engaging with, as we learn, serve, and earn together. The younger part of this group – 50-70 has some skills, and many have the tools and connectivity. We engage in building these skills. The older part of this group- 70+ is often more isolated and disconnected. In 2021, we would like to start engaging in research, talks, workshops and activity to improve this challenge. The challenges are as broad as our demographic mix and include a lack of affordable connectivity, not being able to purchase the right tools and needing help to learn the skills. We hope to build bridges to strengthen these challenges.


The quote below from a champion in this space in the USA says it clearly:

“Smartphones and internet access have become essential to socialize, carry out everyday tasks and access health care. If you only have a telephone, you are disconnected.”  Tom Kamber, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of Older Adults Technology Services


Why don’t you take the time this year to learn some of these skills and engage online in your areas of interest? There is a whole world out there waiting for you. At 50Plus-Skills we hold the hands of our members and introduce them to fun ways to learn, earn and serve. We would love to have you join us this year.


Article by Lynda Smith, 50Plus-Skills


50Plus-skills is an online community
and membership is R50 per month or R500 per year.

For further information on 50 Plus-Skills,
their membership platform and accompanying benefits,
please complete the form below, and a 50 Plus-Skills representative will get back to you, without delay


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50 Plus-Skills

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