Technology evolves at the pace of a speeding bullet. Recently, I was teaching an Advanced iPhone class, and there was some noted grumpiness that the next generation of software will not support iPhones and iPads manufactured in 2013.

Expectations that computers (smartphones and tablets are mini computers) will last and be fast, productive, efficient workhorses beyond two to three years are unrealistic. It’s no mystery why the old incentive-based cell phone plans included a new phone every two years.

Daily use and constant charging, software changes that require more advanced hardware, changes in technology, are all contributing factors to shorter life spans.

The devices we have in our hands or the software platforms we are using today are theoretically outdated upon purchase because the prototypes in R&D (research and development) are at least three generations beyond what’s being sold.

When you didn’t grow up with technology and aren’t 100% comfortable with it, these constant changes can be a source of frustration.

Why Bother Trying to Keep Up with Technology?

Having a solid grasp of the latest technology provides benefits in almost every aspect of life.

For older adults who want to stay connected to their tech-forward family, keeping current maintains those life connections vibrant.

Most people under 50 don’t pick up the phone to have a conversation anymore. Now, the best way to keep in touch is reaching out via text, video chat, and social media.

For those over 60, I would never suggest trying to keep up with the grandkids when it comes to technology. And yet, feeling comfortable with some of the tools they are using is going to help you stay connected to them.

Technology can help seniors live more independently – from managing medication to health monitoring and accessibility. New technology comes out all the time that helps make independent living more of a reality for older people.

To take advantage of new devices or apps, you must be comfortable with being uncomfortable in learning new technologies.

What’s the Average Tech User to Do?

Despite feeling overwhelmed, don’t ignore new things! Focus on new technology as it applies to your life.

Waiting a few months or even a year to try out something others are using can be wise but be careful not to put it off too long.

Sometimes waiting too long makes the next thing harder to learn, by the time you try it, you are three or four generations of development behind and catching up can be much more difficult.

As Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Learning new things keeps us young mentally. It takes an affirmative commitment to be a life-long learner to move forward with the latest technology.

Continue to ask questions, take classes, keep your curiosity for learning new things, and don’t let the pace of technology intimidate you. Technology can age you or help keep you young. It’s your choice.

How do you keep yourself up-to-date with technology? Are you afraid to change or update your devices? Do you get frustrated with changes to what you are using and feel helpless? How do you handle being intimidated by new technology? Please share your thoughts with the community!

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