Grandparents VS Technology
Have you noticed how the way grandparents interact with technology has changed in the last few years? More and more grandmas and grandpas have begun to realise that using a smartphone or tablet is essential if they want to be able to keep up with, and feel close to, their younger family members. It seems that the weekly calls and annual postcards are no longer enough for those who always want to be in the loop when it comes to the lives of their grandchildren.
For the younger generation, who grew up with technology, sending and receiving photos and videos through a computer or mobile device seems like nothing special. But for grandparents, aunts, & uncles from older generations, this process can still be quite challenging. If we take a real look around, it’s becoming clear to see that a lot of grandparents are trying hard to be part of the new era. Many are taking computer classes, whilst others are opting to upgrade their old phones to smartphones or tablets, in the hopes that their family will teach them how to use their new gadgets. There are numerous organisations and websites dedicated to providing the relevant information for the less tech-savvy generation, and help bring this group together through forums and online communities. Here are some of the great sites we’ve found:
Gransnet – An online portal where visitors can join forums to help them connect with other people online. There are also loads of great articles and information about local events happening in the area. Gransnet also has their own social network that helps grandparents get used to being online, stay connected and exchange experiences.
Grandparents.com – Managed by AGA, the American Grandparents Association, this website offers everything for grandparents – it’s a great tool to help them get used to browsing the web. There’s expert information on a huge variety of topic, from games to recipes, advice on family and relationships, as well as health and wellbeing. By signing up to their Premium membership, users can also receive discounts from the AGA’s partner services.
ProudGrandparents – This is another website that is focused on having experts create the highest quality information possible. The site offers a lot of tips and advice on technology, balancing work and family, as well as articles that help grandparents stay informed about their legal and financial rights.
The Grannies and Grandads who do overcome the challenges and manage to adapt to the changes of this new technological era can be considered very lucky to be able to keep up to date with their little ones’ special moments, that are now shared exclusively online. But what about those who haven’t mastered the necessary technology, and are still missing out? In order to find out a bit more about the way that grandparents are handling tech, 23snaps organised a survey (conducted by OnePoll) that showed interesting – yet not altogether unexpected – results.
A sample of 500 grandparents aged 40+ were interviewed. It was found that almost two thirds (64%) don’t, or are unable to, use the social networks and websites where family photos are shared. Among those who do have access to social networks, less than 1 in 10 (9.8%) feel comfortable on sites like Flickr and Instagram. And even though half (53%) of those grandparents are on Facebook, only one in three (36%) say they are connected in all of the places that family photos are shared.
These results show that although it might seem easy for the older generation to sign up for the popular networks and photo sharing services that are available today, it doesn’t mean that they will find them easy to navigate, causing them not to stick around long-term. The truth is that these platforms were not designed with the less technologically savvy users in mind. Most networks are not particularly intuitive for those who don’t already understand how they work, and few offer a private, secure environment where the uninitiated would feel comfortable getting their bearings. With the constant introduction of new features, tools and information – it can make it even more difficult for grandparents to find the content that really matters to them – the photos and updates about their grandchildren.
It has always been 23snaps’ priority to be accessible to even the least tech-savvy family members, and the generation who misses out on cherished family moments that are now shared primarily online. With a simple user interface, the option to subscribe to email-only updates and making sure that the photos that matter are always easy to find, 23snaps helps to bring the whole family together.