As part of my job, I teach adults, especially older adults how to use computers and I know that showing these individuals how to use computers and the Internet has a tremendous effect on their lives. That is why I was so happy to read this article.
Shapira, N., Barak, A. and Gal, I. (2007). Promoting older adults’ well-being through Internet training and use. Aging & Mental Health, 11(5), 477-484.
Basically, Shapira et al. are saying that computer and Internet usage can contribute to older adults’ well-being and sense of empowerment through promoting accessible and ease of interpersonal interactions, promoting cognitive functioning and helping older adults to regain a sense of self control and independence.
How does this happen?
“Involvement in various types of online social or political activism can contribute to feelings of self-worth. Retrieval of medical or mental health information, which is of special value to many seniors, can promote self confidence and help reduce anxiety. Online shopping, banking, gaming, donating and learning are effective ways to overcome physical handicaps.” (Shapira et al. 2007, 477)
Yet another reason why we should ensure that using the computer and the Internet is a successful experience for anyone who wants to learn.
We all need to reach out and put forth our best efforts to help bridge the social digital divide, so hoping this article will motivate you too!