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Boomer to Bust - The Consequences of Digital Illiteracy

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

AI-generated image of an older man hunched over a laptop computer looking deeply anxious
Midjourney: an older person who's anxious to learn how to use a computer

The arrival of the computer technology revolution was not an exciting adventure for many Baby Boomers.

Those born between roughly 1946 and 1964 were through school and well entrenched in professional life when the PC and internet changed the world. They were already good at what they did, happy making money the old fashioned way. And the importance of learning to use a computer was not immediately apparent.

At first computers were just the realm of fringe nerds and elite scientists. “No need to learn them for what I do.” 😎

Then computers were being used in business, but only at the highest levels for analysis and such. “mmm…nah. I’m good.” 🙄

Okay now they’re being asked, then required to use computers in their day-to-day work, but only for specific tasks. “I’ll just learn these few little things. No need to reaaaaally learn them.” 😅

Now computers are phones in people’s pockets being used for seemingly everything. But they’ve still got their local bank, TV antenna and land line. It’ll be alright. “hmmm…No need to– oh, I can have a video call with the grandkids on the other side of the country? Okay, well I’ll get one and just learn these few little things. Besides, my kids can help them if I need it, right?” 😥

Then, all of the sudden…

“Uhhh…what do you mean that now the only way they can access my doctor, bank, insurer, and every other service I rely on is through this tiny little computer?!? And my kids are totally unable to explain any of it to me?!?” 😱

This is the new reality for many millions of seniors who find themselves newly digitally illiterate. No one has ever taken the time to explain technology to them, and now they have a choice — find a way to learn technology and solve their digital illiteracy, or withdraw from society.

They feel scared, they feel trapped and they have few places to turn. The situation is leading to pandemic levels of isolation and depression among seniors. Many are on the brink, and not enough is happening to help them…until now!

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