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The world has changed a lot in the past few decades, especially in the last one. The change has been so monumental that no adjusting to it is not an option.
For the millennials, the change has been more or less, part of our upbringing. We have been accustomed to the advancements so much that we welcome the changes.
The biggest has been in the use of applications, on our phones and laptops. Surviving without FaceTime, Whatsapp, and Instagram is not an ideal scenario for the majority of us.
We can even take a loan online from a direct lender, without possessing high creditworthiness and without the involvement of a bank. Yup, very bad credit loans with no guarantor are a culmination of technology within the application domain, and we are grateful for them.
However, there is a segment in the society for whom these innovations have made life a tad bit difficult. And that is the aged people. These people are in their 60s and beyond, who have lived a significant part of their lives without technology. Thus, immersing themselves in it is bound to be strenuous for them.
My father, who just turned 70 last month, is one of them. And here is how I made him used to the apps that he has installed on his phone, with my help, of course.
Beginning the Dialogue
I gave my father a smartphone on his last birthday. He uses it, but only for calling, he hardly even texts anyone. All he does is answer calls or make them, because that is what the phone was for when they were first launched, to talk to people on voice calls.
I had to tell him that the traditional phone has come a long way and he needs to make use of the technology that is available to him, otherwise what is the point, right?
It took me months to get him to download a few essential apps that are incredibly crucial for us in this day and age.
I had to tell him the purpose of each app before he agreed for them to infringe his phone, yes, he used that word.
So, the battle of wits began.
So, we started with WhatsApp. At present everyone has WhatsApp installed in their phones, be it a 14-year-old or a 40-year-old.
My father had to ask why, and I had an answer for it.
WhatsApp would allow him to message me any number of times he wanted to.
He could send me pictures and videos of things and objects that he found shareable or that he considered being too beautiful.
He could video call me anytime he wanted, which meant he could talk to me while looking at me in real-time. He found the idea quite an innovative one.
But he was only influenced when I told him that there were 26 million WhatsApp users in the UK as of 2019.
• Google Fit
My father is diabetic, and he has had two heart surgeries. So, to say that he needs to be extra careful with his health would be an understatement.
And I know that he needs to have a specific exercise regime that he has to follow religiously. I also know that he would never do that without a little push from me.
So, in comes Google Fit. It is one of the most exceptional fitness applications in the present.
The feature that I want my father to use is the one that counts steps. Walking is the best form of exercise after you achieve a certain age.
I told my father that the app would count the number of steps he takes in a day so that he knows how good or bad he has been in his physical activity.
He asked me to set a target of 3000 steps, and I did.
There was no more coaxing required for this one.
• Circle of 6 (for Safety)
- My father also likes to roam explore, and many a time, his explorations go wayward, and my entire family is left worried and tense for him.
- The solution could only be found in a safety app installed on his phone.
- A circle of 6 is one such application.
- As per this application, you have to pick a circle of 6 people who will be your security blanket.
Someone feels unsafe at a point in time, so all he has to do is click on the power button twice and an automated message would be sent to the six people in his circle with a relatively exact location.
There have been times when my father has felt unwell during his evening walks, and in such a situation, this app would let us know the same and we could be there for him without him having to make a call and tell us where he is.
I would not say that my dad has become a pro at using all the applications that I just talked about, but he has come a long way from the start.
He got himself a loan from Target Loans to buy the latest iPhone.
WhatsApp has made him fall in love with it.
He video calls me at least once a day and I am glad about that.
He has even asked me to make a Facebook account because all his buddies are on it.
I believe that making him get acclimated with the applications in a smartphone has made him happier. His loneliness had faded a lot, and he beams every time a send him a forwarded WhatsApp message.
If you have someone like my father in your life, think about helping them in the transition.