Overwhelmed By Technology? Don't Be.

Technology has advanced so quickly in recent years that it often feels like we are living in a completely different world than the one we grew up in. Keeping up with all the new tech trends can be daunting for some of us born at a different time, but becoming more tech savvy in our later years can have a very positive impact on our lives.

New technologies are worth investigating. They can help us communicate more frequently with family and friends, stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the world, share photos and videos, and even keep us more mentally and physically active and alert.

It’s never too late to try new things, and learning how to use new technologies may not be as challenging as you might expect. Below are just a few technologies to learn more about, if you haven’t already discovered them.

Smartphones are “mobile” phones that connect to the Internet. Although it’s probably safe to say that most people today own a smartphone, there are still holdouts among us. And, some of us own smartphones but don’t use all the available features. Not only do smartphones allow us to make and receive phone calls, they can be used to text, send email, and video chat. A smart phone can also be used to browse the Internet, stream entertainment, play video games, and load multiple apps (mini software programs). We can read eBooks and listen to audiobooks on our smarphones, as well as enjoy our favorite music. Of course, smartphone cameras also make it possible to take, store, and share photos and videos.

Tablets and iPads are handheld computers that are lightweight and portable, with easy-to-use touch screens. And, with just the touch of a finger or two, we can increase the size of images and text for clearer viewing. These devices take up far less space than traditional computers or laptops, and they’re easy to carry with you. Tablets and iPads can be used to access the Internet, stream entertainment, operate computer software programs, store and share photos, listen to music, read eBooks and digital magazines, play games, and more. Like smartphones, they have built in cameras that make it possible to take and view photos and videos as well as video chat on a larger screen than available on most smartphones.

eReaders are handheld electronic devices designed primarily for reading and storing digital books, magazines, and newspapers. They also can be used to listen to and store audio books and music. Some models are designed for browsing the Internet and watching videos as well. Digital books and other materials can be downloaded directly onto the device through any wireless Internet connection and often cost far less than printed formats. eReaders come in different sizes, but all are designed to be lightweight and convenient to carry with you. Each device can store a large personal library of several hundred books and other materials. Perhaps best of all, eReaders also allow you to adjust type size for easier reading, a helpful feature you won’t find in a traditional printed book.

Video game consoles are systems designed for playing video games. Video game systems and online virtual games have come a long way since their humble predecessors in the game arcades of yesteryear. They’re far more realistic and involve more physical activity. Current systems even allow users to play games with other folks across the globe via the Internet. Beyond the fun and entertainment they provide, studies have shown that playing video games can actually improve reflexes, coordination, reasoning, memory, attention, and enhance overall physical and mental health. Not only that, research has also determined that playing video games encourages social interaction and can help reduce anxiety and depression in older people.

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