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5 Challenges for Digitally Challenged People
By: Christine Geraci
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Two years ago, my mom's 80-year-old cousin bought a laptop. At the time, this was huge. And then, at Christmas, she dropped another bombshell: She was thinking about buying an iPad. Because it looked like "the cat's meow."
 
She's a rare case, this one. Many people half her age still think a Foursquare check-in involves a punch clock. New technology scares them. Social networks are especially frightening. In their personal lives, it's very easy, and perfectly OK, to avoid these new-fangled tools. But at work, these tools are getting harder to avoid. 
 
Still, many people rage against the tide, refusing to try something new — and losing out on new opportunities as a result. Often, it's not because they're incapable, it's because they fear what they don't understand. 
 
Chances are, those people won't get to read this unless someone prints it out for them. But if they do decide to read it in some form, that hopefully means they — like my mom's 80-year-old cousin — are at least trying. 
 
If you're one of those people, reluctant but curious about moving with the masses when it comes to mobile technology and social media, consider starting slow:
 
Open your mind. It's hard to learn something new. It's also hard to get out of your comfort zone. But it's absolutely necessary if you want to do this. 
 
Accept help. Ask your child, a student, a tech-savvy co-worker. Have them sit down and walk you through the basics. Watch them do their thing. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. 
 
Lurk for a little while. Open an account, but remain dormant. Watch what others say and do. But don't remain silent for long.
 
Borrow someone's device. Or, go hang out at the Mac store or a Best Buy. Get your fingers used to the sliding and tapping required on a touch screen. Try to play a little Angry Birds. If you don't know what that is, that's OK. You will.
 
When you're ready, put something out there. Share a link to something you find interesting. Wish people a good night. Just remember to proofread!
 
What advice would you give someone who's just learning their way around the digital landscape?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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