April 27, 2016
“We’ve come a long way since VHS.” These are the words of my father which caused me to stare directly at him until I realized what he was talking about. My stare went away after I remembered the primitive video system that boomers once embraced like my generation does smartphones today.
It was only after two hours of frustration that I gave up trying to show him the new iPad we purchased for his birthday. My sister tried her best as well, but it only led to her asking me questions in order to answer his questions. Prior to leaving for the day, we left it up to him to “play around” and “figure things out.”
It was mid-week when I realized I was going to see him again in three days. Knowing I would be cornered with endless questions, I had to find a solution. Most of you have been in this situation at one point in your life, especially if you are the “techie” in the family. In fact, it was a situation like this that led to the website TechBoomers.
Founded by Steve Black in 2014, the site was developed after he was bombarded with questions from family members and older relatives about how to use different websites on the Internet. Facebook was followed by Skype and Netflix and soon he was the go-to person for his older relatives.
“Typically, I’d sit down with them in a one-on-one setting and show them how to use the most important features of each website and application,” Black wrote in an article for the Family Online Safety Institute. Being in a similar situation as my own, Black took to the Internet to find a website to assist.
“The entrepreneur in me figured that there must be a website out there that could solve the problems,” Black wrote. “I quickly realized that such a website didn’t exist.”
And so became the birth of TechBoomers.
TechBoomers is an educational website that teaches anyone how to use websites such as Twitter, Facebook, PayPal, SoundCloud, Expedia, and most recently Tinder. It uses video and article tutorials to teach how to sign up and use each website. More importantly, it also teaches how to close and delete accounts for websites you no longer want to use. While anyone can use the site, it is geared towards the older generation and uses larger font and easy to find drop down menus for ease of use.
The best part of the website is that there is no fee to access the courses. I can only assume that the site will monetize in the future, but currently users are not required to pay anything for the tutorials.
If you are the “techie” in the family, you know exactly what I am talking about here. Stop fielding all the questions and sit them down in front of a few videos. Hopefully their confusion (and your irritation) will dissipate. If not, don’t call me. This article is the only free advice I’m going to give you.
According to its website, TechBoomers has over 1,000 video and article tutorials to explain how to use more than 75 websites and apps. It has also partnered with 200+ libraries and nonprofits to assist seniors in larger groups.
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