Gransnet forums


Do you have some advice for a 28 year old?

(14 Posts)
Mouseey Wed 21-Jun-17 14:20:36

Dear grandparents,

I'm 28 years old, so forgive me for intruding on your forum.
It's just that I am looking for some advice and I hope that you can help me out.

You see, I have started a company about a year ago to help people whom have trouble understanding computers. I had a whole plan of personal education plans, moving to the cloud, safety and scanning paper administration to digital files.
I know now, that this is not something that is necessarily wanted.

Let me go back just a bit further. I started this company, because I saw that my government wanted to completely digitize the tax administration and thought that there would be a problem there. I found out that 8% of the people haven't ever used the internet, and this doesn't account for the people that do use it, but don't really know how.
So basically, the use of the digital world is not balanced out and I want to help out to make this more equal.

The last 2 months I have been looking on what I should change in my company ideas and I have a few ideas:
- An online course where children can learn how to help their parents on this subject.
- An e-book (print is too expensive at first) based on colonizing America, which educates about computers.

Now I believe that a lot of courses don't teach the right stuff. They teach to use Windows or using Office. I think this is too specific and the general understanding needs more attention.

I've looked at my own experience with learning about digital devices (pc's, tablets, smartphones) and made a framework to recognize digital processes like I do. Including how I learnt it.


I need to know if this would even be interesting for you or someone you know and that is why i'm posting this.

So if you're willing to help a guy out, could you please tell me your view on this?

What would have been beneficial for you when you started learning about the digital world?

What have you missed or what did you really like?

What are the current things you have trouble with?

If you know someone who doesn't use internet yet, what do you think could help them?

See it this way, if you can tell me where I can help out, I can make something that could be really useful to you. I just really need to know what that is.

Thank you very much for reading this.

Luckygirl Wed 21-Jun-17 17:49:27


kittylester Wed 21-Jun-17 20:44:51


Jalima1108 Wed 21-Jun-17 21:01:29

What would have been beneficial for you when you started learning about the digital world?
It's so long ago I've forgotten.

Humbertbear Thu 22-Jun-17 08:36:15

I don't think an eBook based on colonising America is going to do too well. I'm a techie / early adopter and my experience as a retiree is that my contemporaries are accessing free classes e.g. U3A and are asking friends (such as me) on an ad hoc basis. Don't underestimate the extent to which over 60s are engaging with mobile technology . In my experience, more want help with tablets than with laptops. They spend £100s on tablets and don't know what they can do. I have been asked such things as 'wouldn't it be good if I could email the photos I take on my iPad'! Fellow artists didn't know you could adjust the brightness of the screen or change the settings so their iPad didn't turn itself off. I am becoming adept at sorting out problems on different makes of phone. Why doesn't everyone just buy the same as me? Good luck with your venture.

Jalima1108 Thu 22-Jun-17 09:20:29

An e-book (print is too expensive at first) based on colonizing America, which educates about computers.

I don't think an eBook based on colonising America is going to do too well

Humbertbear grin

My forebears emigrated to America nearly 200 years ago; unfortunately they found that the wi-fi connection was non-existent, abandoned hope of any civilisation over there and came home again.

M0nica Thu 22-Jun-17 09:30:54

I think a time has now been reached where most older people under 75, or even 80 are familiar with mobile technology. Those over 80 who do not use computers, like DDiL's mother are unlikely ever to do so.

While I know email was devised in the 1960s, if not earlier, it did not come into common use until the 1990s, but I first used it in 1990 when I was still in my 40s, I started using computers at work in 1979 and we bought our first home pc in 1984.

Yes, as Humbertbear has commented, there are many older people who have fairly limited skills, but this does not just apply to older people. DS, an academic, has commented on the limited skills of some undergraduates. They are skilled on social media, but for some that is more or less all and also lack the skills at effective information searching and evaluating.

There is a need for the kind of education you want to provide but the key question is whether your potential customers recognise that they need it. I think rather than posting general information requests on a forum like Gransnet, you need to some detailed market research with a properly drawn up sample of people of all ages and levels of comfort with IT and find out what they can and cannot do, recognise they cannot do, and what type of education would attract them and at what price.

fiorentina51 Thu 22-Jun-17 11:54:23

I'm a volunteer at a local museum. A couple of years ago we had some visitors who ranged in age from 86 to 92 and all of them had smartphones which they were able to use quite confidently, especially when they wanted to take photos.

Stansgran Thu 22-Jun-17 14:02:54

It's impossible to generalise. DH hates technology but uses it. Friends of 82 ,struggles but uses it,75,dislikes typing after chemo,75, hates it and refuses to use it ever for anything,82, and uses it to suit herself. i love it and love my iPad . Everyone else I know uses it non stop. I also write letters.

varian Thu 22-Jun-17 14:45:50

You should start your market research by finding ways to reach your target customers.

Gransnetters are all, to a greater or lesser extent computer literate. I studied computer science at university in the early sixties and have had to update my knowledge many times. Other gransnetters may have worked with computers in the seventies or eighties, and some may have started at the same time as you did -twenty years ago or less.

All of us are on this forum because we know how. Few of us are experts, most of us could learn more, but I really don't think we are the old folk you are looking for.

jillyco Thu 22-Jun-17 16:23:38

As far as the older generation are concerned, I believe those older people who have had no experience of how to use technology to access the internet, send emails etc, just need time and patience in order to gain confidence and somebody they can ask for help when they are not sure what they are doing. Even just using a mouse on a computer can be daunting if you have never done it before. The Government have a digital inclusion strategy which aims to help such people and locally 'digital champions' are being trained to do just this. Our U3A also runs an IT surgery for members to come along and find out how to do something new or sort out any problems they may have.

ninathenana Thu 22-Jun-17 16:34:15

D taught me everything I know.

NanaMacGeek Fri 23-Jun-17 00:01:45

I have recent experience working for a charity that was set up to support people with their IT needs. I have had several customers who are just bewildered by the first step - getting broadband into their home. They don't see why they should pay so much. What on earth is a router? Sometimes they have been given an old computer or tablet which someone has set up for them. Password - which one? Use the WiFi password to try to open the tablet several times, get locked out. What is an email account, how is it set up? Security, not needed, they don't do anything on their machine that matters.

I have worked very slowly through these steps but could only get so far. Each step gets written down painstakingly but there is always something that goes wrong.

I get angry on behalf of my customers. It should not be beyond the abilities of technology providers to run a service to support this disenfranchised group of people. Deliver a broadband router together with a dedicated tablet with a clear, simple interface, use the latest biometric identification technology so that passwords are unnecessary and allow access to support from real people. Can anyone see this happening? Unlikely. So you could perhaps provide a personal service but you would have to take out expensive security insurance because you open yourself to malicious claims by friends and relatives if your clients get hacked or scammed.

I hope you can come up with a model that works but until the technology itself becomes 'invisible', I can't see this forgotten generation catching up. By the time the technology is available, it will be too late. Sorry to be so pessimistic but I have tried and failed too often with this group of clients but it's so many years since I was 28, you must have more energy and ideas. I really wish you luck.

mrsmopp Sat 08-Jul-17 22:48:04

You only have to read the posts on here to see the kind of problems we have with technology. Nothing comes with instructions any more. I don't have younger members of my family nearby to help me if I get stuck. The terminology can be incomprehensible as I phoned a helpline once and it was like learning a new language. The person had a strong accent which also didn't help.
I can't remember passwords. My mobile android phone suddenly stopped connecting with my apple email address (see separate thread) and it was horribly complicated for me to sort out. I do embrace technology, I like my iPad, I like the way Google can answer almost any question, the Internet is wonderful. It's all great when it works, problems arise when things don't work. Don't know if this is what you wanted to know but it's my take on things. Good luck.