Technology is amazing, no one can deny that, but it can also be confusion because of how quickly it changes. Baby Boomers and technology sometimes feel like oil and water, they just don’t mix, but this isn’t true at all. Technology is everywhere and while the shear amount of it can be overwhelming, you can’t be afraid of it and learning how to use it is much easier then people make it out to be. Recent studies by AARP even show that more Baby Boomers are embracing technology with 7 out of 10 owning a smartphone and 9 out of 10 owning a PC or laptop. Now let’s look at how Baby Boomers and technology have changed over the years.
Baby Boomers and Technology: A Brief History
When Baby Boomers were growing up there were less technological breakthroughs that were brought into the consumer market. Computers were to large and many other advancements were medical and military in nature. This isn’t to say that there was no technology was being developed, the microwave, and color television, advancements in music mediums are all great examples of that, but they were all coming at a slower pace then today. From 1960’s to the late 1990’s much of the technology was being developed at a reasonable pace, but after 2000 and the Dot.com boom new technology snowballed. Even today we still see this increased technological development, going from solar power cars as an interesting novelty in the 1990’s to new modern self-driving electric cars of today is a HUGE leap in less than 20 years. It is understandable why Baby Boomers and technology are not integrating as fast as with the younger generations. The Millennials and Generation Z were able to grow up with these advancements happening and became used to them, while Baby Boomers and to a lesser extent Generation X went decades with out much technological change. (Generational Issues in Workplace)
Baby Boomers and Technology: How It Affects Business
So why is it important to note the differences that Baby Boomers and technology have compared to other generations? Using Healthcare companies as an example we see that studies show that the average age of a CEO is 55 years old, the CFO is 52 years old and the executives are aged around 53 years old in healthcare organizations. This is notable different then the average age of a tech company in which the CEO is only 40 years old. These age differences mean that the ones in charge of companies, who are likely to be hesitant to change systems are in control of the future of company’s digital future. Many older and established doctors’ offices would rather face fines or increased insurance fees then change to newer updated systems. These attitudes limit and stifle the growth of an office and even the industry itself. Other industries face similar challenges with the increase of automated systems, computerized filing becoming more common, companies can’t just look at technology as ways of doing current things more efficiently, but as doing business in a completely new way, and not think of it as belonging to the younger generations.
Baby Boomers and Technology: How to Embrace Technology
So how can that Baby Boomers learn to embrace technology? Well the easiest way is to use it. There are classes in colleges and community centers and videos online giving step-by-step instructions. There are programs that have young people who go to community centers and retirement homes that teach seniors and Baby Boomers how to use smartphones, computers, programs and more. But what happens if you are still having issues learning, you can get one-on-one coaching. Ask questions and then practice until you feel comfortable. Don’t let up after these classes thought, have someone follow up within 2 weeks to make sure you aren’t slipping back into old habits. By embracing technology, you not only learn new skills, but you can make your life easier, and just maybe have some fun along the way. (Read Facts about baby boomers)