Keeping Up with Technology
In 2018, technology is an inescapable part of daily life. For active adults, having a love/hate relationship with technology can be common. On one hand, apps, smartphones and computers changes so quickly that it can be hard to stay on top of the newest gadgets and latest software updates. However, keeping up-to-date with technology has the potential to add to and enhance your life in more convenient ways in your retirement than you might think. Here are a few ideas for ways to incorporate tech to make your life easier:
Communicate with FaceTime
One major advantage of modern technology is its ability to connect you with people all over the world almost instantaneously. Rather than keeping in touch with friends and loved ones over the phone, add some invaluable face-to-face time with your phone or laptop’s video feature like FaceTime or an app like Skype. It’ll add a whole new dimension to your communication with the important people in your life and make the distance feel much smaller.
Connect with social media
These days, everyone can be on social media and there are plenty of platforms to choose from. Facebook is by far the easiest and most convenient to join, especially if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of other platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. In no time, you’ll be connecting with old friends, sharing pictures and keeping up with what’s going on in your social network.
Most of all, be patient
With the rapid pace of technology advancements today, it can be easy to get discouraged or decide it’s not worth the time to learn. But don’t give up! Be patient with yourself, ask questions when you have them and technology can add to your life in ways you never expected.
Utilize your smartphone
Every update – and they happen regularly – can be jarring, but the truth is your smartphone’s plethora of features can make simple things so much easier!
o Use Siri (or your phone’s equivalent voice-automated personal assistant) for everything from scheduling important reminders to searching on the web.
o Today’s smartphones also come with an App Store to access a seemingly endless array of content, and it can get confusing. In addition to games, social networks and news sources, consider downloading some of these apps to make your life simpler:
Health (free with iOS)
The Health app can help you take charge of your personal wellness, allowing you to monitor everything your sleep patterns and nutrition to counting the number of steps you take each day. The app also has an entire section on mindfulness and places to keep track of your health records, blood pressure and other vital signs. And the best part? If you have an iPhone it’s already included on your phone as one of Apple’s default apps!
Flexing your mental muscle is crucial in staying mentally active, particularly for anyone 55+. Lumosity specializes in keeping subscribers mentally agile with a combination of games and puzzles meant to improve your memory. Created by a team of neuroscientists, the app has been proven to benefit important mental skills like memory recall and retention of information. The app is free to download but requires a subscription to Lumosity.
A social network built around books, Goodreads is the perfect app for anyone who loves to read. After creating a profile, members can rate and review the latest books they’ve read and connect with friends over what’s in their bookshelves. The app also allows you to create wish lists of books you’re wanting to dig into, making sure you never miss the next great read. Plus, discussing books is always more fun with friends, which is a guarantee through the social networking aspect of Goodreads.
Tired of balancing your checkbook every month on paper? Mint is a personal finance app that allows users to sync all of their bank accounts and financial activity into the palm of their hand. Using budgets created by you, the app monitors your spending habits – sending alerts when you’ve gone over budget and tracking what percentage of your income is spent on categories including bills, groceries, eating out and entertainment. Mint will help anyone become more financially responsible, but can be particularly useful for active adults and retirees on fixed incomes.
pillboxie ($0.99 on ios)
Pillboxie is the perfect app to keep track of medications – alerting you when to take them on a schedule you set. The app allows you to easily organize your prescription schedule using a colorful pillbox graphic and ensures you’ll never forget to take an important pill again.