Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” We have seen magical technological developments in a short time. Even before the pandemic, we stayed in contact with distant relatives online via video chats, watching our families grow through the screens of digital devices. While still lagging behind in total usage, adults aged 50 and older have had the greatest increase in technology use. Older adults now use digital devices for purposes well beyond video chatting with the younger generations. Here’s what we at BoomerTECH Adventures have observed.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have helped Boomers and seniors connect with relatives and friends by sharing updates and images of daily activities, travels and interests. These platforms also connect users sharing similar interests. Whether it’s cooking, the great outdoors, crafts, books, or charitable causes, there are interest groups out there in cyberspace. BTA guide Ed Brazee has been known to visit YouTube for safety reminders before revving up his chainsaw. Guide Jill Spencer uses Facebook to share her interest in books and education. And we’ve been known to “Like” and “Share” posts from our friends and relatives from time to time!

Watching videos has exploded since we’ve been ordering out and cooking in more often. Subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney increased 32% in 2021 to 308.6 million subscribers. They all have a wide variety of choices ranging from TV shows, classics, dramas, comedies, action, foreign, and documentaries. In addition to the big providers there are specialty companies such as CuriosityStream for documentaries, Shudder for horror movies, and Jill’s favorite, Acorn, which specializes in British and international shows.

Bingeing on videos isn’t the only entertainment. Escaping into a great book is still a favorite for many. Most public libraries have free online e-books and audiobooks you can read or listen to. Our library uses the Cloud Library app. Contact yours for more information. There are also paid subscription services with thousands of titles available to download. I subscribe to Audible which has over 450,000 titles and no time limits for reading. If you enjoy discussing books there are dozens of online book groups. (see social media above!)

It is possible to learn practically anything through the internet. Courses and workshops of varying levels and lengths are available through colleges and universities, professional organizations, and private companies. Many are free or inexpensive. Courses on using computers and the internet top the list. Learning languages, literature, music, history, science, medicine, health are also very popular. Using specific descriptors when searching will help to narrow down your options. Recently, after typing in “best free food photography course”, I signed up for a great five-day introductory food photography course.


Consumers are buying online more than ever with an increase of over 32% in 2020. In addition to periodically ordering clothing, household goods and appliances, internet purchasing now includes weekly groceries and fresh produce. Pandemic concerns have prompted grocers to offer online ordering with home or sidewalk delivery. Although in-person shopping will likely increase as the pandemic fades, many busy families and older shoppers may find the convenience of online ordering and home delivery worth continuing. Like online shopping, online banking has made sending and receiving money more convenient. Most banks have branded apps for automatically handling most financial transactions right from the comfort and convenience of your computer, tablet, or phone.

Every generation has an interest in health and fitness these days. Mobile and wearable devices have made it easy for us to monitor our level of physical activity, be it walking, running, cycling, or swimming. We can also measure our heart rate, blood pressure, and even keep track of our dietary habits. Best of all, everyone can set their own goals and be as focused or relaxed as they wish. Whether it’s reaching a certain number of steps each day, or preparing to compete in a triathlon, the phone in your pocket or watch on your wrist can help. Our devices can remind us to take medications as well. The development of online medical care and telehealth consultations has made it more convenient to connect with doctors for care, advice, information, and routine checkups.

With generations often living far apart, the development of mobile and wearable devices has helped many older people to stay connected to friends, neighbors, family members. Given a choice, most older people prefer to be independent, remaining in their own homes as long as possible. With the ability to sense when someone has fallen and calling for emergency assistance, personal digital devices such as smartphones, and watches are making it safer and easier for seniors to “age in place”. Technological change is constant. Engaging it with curiosity and a sense of possibility can make lives better. The magic continues!

BoomerTECH Adventures ( provides expert guidance and resources to help Boomers and older adults develop competence and confidence using their Apple devices. Boomers themselves, BoomerTECH Adventures rely on their skills as educators to create experiences that meet individual needs through videos, Zoom presentations, tech tips, and timely blog posts.

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