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Learning to be tech-savvy

Published 9:59pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

There is always new technology cropping up, and it is hard to keep up with everything.

I like to think of myself as somewhat tech-savvy, but there are apps and technology teens and college-aged kids are using that I have no clue about.

I know have quite a few years before I can be considered “old,” but I can see how it could be harder to keep up with everything, as you get older.

My mother avoided computers and most things technology-wise for a long time. We got our first family computer when I was a teenager. My brother and I hopped right on, playing games and using it for schoolwork.

My dad used computers for work, so he was equally as comfortable using the computer, but I don’t remember my mother even touching the computer. We had to leave hand-written instructions for her on how to turn the thing off in case someone else had forgotten to do so.

My mom’s work didn’t require her to use computer, so this went on for years. And it wasn’t until my father’s passing that my mom was kind of forced into the 21st century. It wasn’t all that long ago that she was using dial-up Internet.

But after upgrading to faster Internet, purchasing a brand new laptop and some mother-daughter computer lessons, she was on her way. It was a gradual process, but she is doing way more than she used to. She emails, is on Facebook, watches missed TV shows online and even shops online from time to time.

The Suffolk public libraries offer many classes that help introduce those who are new to computers on how to use various programs. Classes vary from using Microsoft Word to just sending an email.

This is a wonderful way to help get senior citizens into the computer world. More and more information and forms that many people have to use are online. And the Internet provides a way to keep in touch with loved ones anywhere in the world that we haven’t had before. Facebook itself is like a digital class reunion.

One of the upcoming classes, “A Tech Connection: Email Basics,” will be held at Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St., from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 31. The free class will cover setting up a Gmail account, sending and receiving email, attaching a file and using the address book. A personal laptop and library account in good standing are required. To register, call 514-7323.

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