Technology: From Peers to Mentors
Many of us take newer technology for granted, and the millennial generation today can’t even remember a time when computers, cell phones, and 3D television weren’t daily parts of their lives. But for many baby boomers, the struggle continues.
Staying ahead of the technology curve can be a source of frustration for older users, as technology seems to increase faster than their own knowledge bases. In a “first to offer” competition, new models appear almost daily. An electronic device that is purchased today can feel outdated next week. But once a device is mastered, many a baby boomer will cling to that device for as long as possible!
Take our own Mulkey McMichael for example. After years of denial, he finally made the upgrade from his old but serviceable “flip” phone to a new LG Lucky phone with all the bells and whistles, including a dizzying number of apps for news, weather, GPS, etc.
“I finally gave in and moved into this century,” Mulkey explained with a smile. “When I purchased the new phone, however, I had no idea how to program the new phenomenon.”
Enter a helpful young person – peer Shanora Robinson. After hearing Mulkey express his frustration about mastering the new phone, several peers and staff recommended he speak with Shanora. Mulkey asked Shanora for her help, which she readily gave. Within 30 minutes, she returned the phone to him, ready to go.
“It is fun to know how to do this for others,” Shanora said. “It makes me feel good that I understand cell phones and can get them to work for people.”
At Perry Wellness Center, sometimes a peer can be a mentor, and a mentor can be a pupil. It’s all about accepting others’ help and challenging ourselves to learn and share.
In the photo above, Shanora Robinson reviews the information enclosed with Mulkey McMichael’s new LG phone and makes the necessary data and contract entries.