We often hear people say that seniors will only use a telephone to contact others. Give us a break. Firstly, we all know that our grandparents 70+ are on Facebook, Genealogy.com, and ordering from Alexa.
So, how do we market to seniors without treating them like second-class citizens? We are honored to be joined by Canadian expat Warren Laine-Naida. He now teaches digital literacy to seniors.
As he says on his site,
“People have always used technology to solve problems – older people should not be excluded. Seniors also want to have a say, participate. Active participation in society should be possible for everyone. Media literacy or digital literacy is a prerequisite for this.”
Let’s dig in and have a real conversation. Let’s be serious here, Bridget can join AARP in 8 years! (Jason is a bit younger.) Well, first we have to thank our sponsors.
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About Warren Laine-Naida
Trained as a pastry chef, Warren is not only a fan of chocolate, he is an artist who specialized in chocolate sculptures. Because of his book, he taught himself to build a website chocolatecheese.de in 1999.
He now not only builds websites, but he is passionate about teaching children and seniors digital literacy. Follow Warren on Twitter; he has a wide range of interests.
Tech as a Second Career
Many people come to tech as a way to pivot their careers. Warren did the same.
“Tech is a very accessible career because a lot of us move on because of physical issues… it’s only bordered by your creativity.” Warren Laine-Naida
Since 2016, we’ve been seeing a lot of people enter the WordPress community who have a depth of career and life experience. Wanting to leave the day job, they come to WordCamps and Meetups to learn how to switch to a career in tech. The freedom from this kind of life is appealing to every generation.
“With web you don’t enter and go up the ladder; it’s fluid.” Warren Laine-Naida
Who Is A Senior?
Seniors range from 55 years old for restaurant discounts all the way to 65-72 for retirement. Some of Warren’s students are even in their eighties.
What is Digital Literacy
Digital literacy is the ability to use smart devices, computers, and internet of things in order to accomplish your goals.
An important thing to note is that being tech savvy isn’t related to age. In fact, warren says the demographic that best determines digital literacy is money.
“It’s a question of disposable income. It isn’t about ability; the digital divide is based upon pure economics” Warren Laine-Naida
Tech Is a Tool
Ultimately, tech is and always has been a tool to accomplish a task. And yet, because of the disposable income issue, it’s become more of an accessory.
“We’ve moved away from them as tools; they’re accessories. It’s transcended its purposes — phone, website, everything.” Warren Laine-Naida
What About Accessibility?
Revealing our own bias (mine: Bridget), we thought Warren would talk accessibility. We should have a good color contrast and bigger fonts. I sort of expected a talk like Cemal Tashan gave at WordCamp Los Angeles. We were a bit surprised.
“If you don’t have access to high speed internet, then the size of the font is moot.” Warren Laine-Naida
Insert Mic Drop.
Sure. Seniors are more likely to be on a fixed income — especially given the fact that we live longer. So, sometimes they have to choose between paying for utilities or internet. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?
A Note About Generations
Jason and Bridget are part of GenX. Jason brought up some excellent points about how the Baby Boomers and Millenials have similar goals and aspirations. It would be nice to see some mutual respect toward one another. (Okay, lecture’s over.)
Tool or Tip of the Week
This Tool or Tip of the week is brought to you by Fat Dog Creatives. If you’re a service-based business serious about growth, Rhonda Negard is your rebranding and web design thinker, a strategic design specialist. Check out her website at FatDogCreatives.com
Warren recommends The Innovators by Walter Isaacon. Learn why innovation is important.
Bridget recommends the Coral App. Understand your arousal style and learn about yourself.