Generation Z: The Digital Granny

With an ageing population, we need to encourage intergenerational communication and relationships. This week we have Eleanor, talking a little bit about her relationship with her granny and teaching her the ways of the internet.

“It’s easy to laugh at granny when she asks how to sign up for Facebook and uses new words like ‘selfie’; we laugh because she’s slowly beginning to understand the internet, something our generation has grown up using and are so naturally competent with. Many people of the older generation find technology overwhelming, they believe it’s unnecessary as they have lived their whole lives without it. Statistics show that 99% of those aged 16-24 have used the internet, dropping to just 40% of those aged 65 or over. With the introduction of the Apple iPad, 25% more people aged 65+ are now using the internet with ease and enjoying all it has to provide!

I like to think my granny is, in comparison to other grandparents, a whizz at the internet; she has various devices including an iPad and iPhone. Her iPad is useful to her for different tasks like taking photographs and reading books; it’s so great to see her exploring the her iPad and learning new things without the help of me or my sisters.

It took a while persuading granny to decide to use the internet, she took the plunge after we bought her an iPad. At first she was very apprehensive, after some encouragement and repetition, she soon got the hang of sending an email, Facebook and shopping online! I enjoyed spending time with her, teaching her what I know rather than vice versa; breaking the stereotype of older people always teaching the younger generation. She’s taught me so many different life lessons, it feels fantastic to be able to return the favour.

I am very lucky to say that I have a great relationship with my granny, she constantly helps and supports me. Since a young age she’s taught me how to draw, paint, cook, bake and garden, her dedication to gardening inspired me to take up a career in garden design; all my knowledge about flowers and vegetables stems from her passion to share her expertise with her granddaughters. It’s crucial to be open to learning new things, no matter who’s teaching you or what age you are.”

Eleanor is a fellow Digital Champion with the Designing for the Future project (@designingfuture)- follow her at @eleanorowens95 and take a look at her own gardening/photography blog: eleanorgowens.blogspot.co.uk.

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