So many memories from my childhood are technology related. I grew up in a time where ’56k dial up’ was the most incredible thing to have happened, even when you got cut off because your mum wanted to ring someone two doors down the road. We were a family of gamers; the Playstation One was the best console you could have and it only progressed from there.
I remember doing my homework using information I’d found on the internet. I remember being introduced to ICQ, chat forums, online gaming and MSN. I remember the first time I got a mobile phone; yes it was massive, yes I had to share it with my sister and hell yes we had to go and ask our parents for a five quid top up because we’d spent time prank calling people or sending random text messages. Whichever way you look at it, I’ve never not known technology.
This ‘third industrial revolution’ ball doesn’t seem to have stopped rolling for the last 40 years at least! The only thing is, not everyone has been keeping up with the ball. There are people, like my grandmother, who can just about work the bare minimum when it comes to a mobile phone and can log in to Facebook on a computer and comment on one of my pictures but, without a doubt, she is absolutely blind to the possibilities of the digital world we live in today. Part of me finds that that ‘innocence’ about technology is really endearing and another part of me loves knowing more about something than her – for once – though it can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to explain what you do for a job!
Having said that, it’s not because she’s disinterested but because it wasn’t really a ‘thing’ for people of her generation. However, it’s not just the elderly who are struggling to get to grips with the most recent technology. According to a survey early this year, one in five (20%) of us don’t feel digitally confident and feel like technology is progressing quicker than we can keep up with, thus feeling left behind by the ‘digital revolution’.
With ‘smart’ home devices, phones, TVs, watches, music devices and apps it’s unsurprising that so many of us are struggling to get our head around everything, even 16% of 18-24 year olds lack assurance. Out of everyone surveyed, a whopping 73% said they’d like support to improve their tech skills.
Post Office Broadband + Google Digital Garage Drop-in Session
Luckily for that 73% of people, and even the other 27%, Post Office Broadband are partnering up with Google’s Digital Garage programme and a number of UK libraries to provide digital drop-in sessions across the country. Designed to provide a comfortable space where people can come along and ask any questions, boost nationwide technology confidence and shut off the feeling of falling behind. With the survey identifying cities that were the least digitally confident I’ll be heading to Norwich next Friday to join in on one of these sessions (and to have a good look around the library of course!) but you can always find your local event by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Despite me thinking that Norwich was a relatively ‘young’ city – especially with there being a university there – it surprises me that nearly half of residents (46%) say they’ve never been taught how to use their devices, a third (36%) don’t fully comprehend the features available to them and 26% say they don’t know how to set them up in the first place.
These digital drop-in sessions will be open from 10am til 1pm and will cover a variety of topics; whether it’s help getting started online, building confidence, learning how to stay safe or just improving your all round knowledge. Feel free to bring along any device you might need help with too!
Don’t be shy; technology is moving at a rapid pace with no signs of slowing down. We rely so heavily on the internet and digital devices that we can’t afford to let a gap in knowledge hold us back. Think of the possibilities! Knowledge is power.
Find Out More
For more information, or to register interest in attending a ‘Post Office Broadband and Google Digital Garage Drop-in’ then head over to https://www.postofficedigitaldrop-ins.co.uk/ or call 0800 068 1791.
*This is a collaborative post. I will be attending the drop-in session and will be compensated for my time.