As I shut my vehicle door with my foot, I balanced my precious coffee in one hand and a few grocery bags in the other. I walked around my SUV to the opposite passenger side door, placed my coffee on top, swung the door open and unbuckled my son out of his car seat.
“Right to the front door, son.” I said shutting his door and grabbing my coffee.
My 4 year old sprinted down the driveway and around the back of the SUV. Of course I closely shadowed him, mildly struggling with the disproportionate weight of the grocery bags in one hand, forcing to come to a halt and almost tripping over him as he stopped to pick up some rocks and other questionable items he spotted. I let out a big sigh and gave him another reminder to get to the front door.
“Mommy has a lot of groceries to put inside. Come on!” I stood behind him for what felt like an hour as he scrupulously observed these items.
I’m usually a very patient lady. But not today.
It was only 10am but the 4 hours I have been awake today have been the longest and tiring four hours. Plus I haven’t had a full cup of coffee yet. I know, crazy right?
Finally, he was up and we were in the house.
I sprinted straight to the kitchen and dropped the bags to the floor in relief.
Just when I was about to get a few seconds of reprieve and about to take a sip of my coffee, my phone begins to play Earth, Wind and Fire’s September. Without looking at the caller ID, I already knew who it was just from their customized ring tone.
“Hi, dad.” I said, putting my phone down and the speaker on.
As I proceeded with putting away the groceries, rinsing off some seedless grapes for my son and then rewarming my cup of store-bought coffee, I forbearingly listened to my father complain, ridicule and laugh about his experience with his new smartphone.
This is, of course, after the plethora of text messages he and my mother sent me just the night before.
I love that my parents are finally diving into the world of technology and embracing the fast-paced and exhilarating world of social media. A little too much at times.
But there have certainly been a few scary moments when I needed to call them to delete something that was spammed onto their Facebook account because they innocently clicked on a suspicious link (they didn’t know better!) or manually help them setting up higher security settings. This can be a big concern for me as well given their vulnerability to scam artists or hackers.
If I had a dollar for every time I had to assist my parents or my mother-in-law with their tech devices, I’d honestly be a millionaire right now. Isn’t it funny how the tables have turned a little bit?
Here are we are, the new tech and social media savvy generation guiding and teaching the people that have taught us mostly everything we know, how to maneuver through their smartphones.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing it. It’s my parents! I’ll bend over backwards for them, but yes, I am also a busy gal too. There are a ton of basic know-how’s and tips that I can share but I simply just cannot respond to every single question and there are a few things that I may not be the best person to educate them on.
This is why I’m so appreciative of TELUS’ TELUS WISE Seniors Training.
TELUS WISE seniors is a new program free-of-charge for all Canadian seniors 60+ in age who are already using the Internet and want to learn more about Internet and smartphone safety. This program includes free group workshops and a very useful guide. Some topics include: smartphone safety tips, identity theft, online dating and social gaming. Plus, partnering with Cyber-Seniors, including hosting showings of the Cyber-Seniors documentary viewing events.
Learn more by visiting them online at wise.telus.com/en/wiseseniors.
Did you know: Statistics Canada found that more than half of online seniors older than 75 belong to a social networking site such as Facebook, and more than one-third of them go online daily.
Another wonderful advantage of merging the creative and tech-savvy skills of generation Z with baby boomers? The TELUS WISE Generations Ambassador Program.
The TELUS WISE generations ambassador program is all about getting grandparents, parents and youth to talk about how they safely use the Internet, smartphones and social media. Students in grade 9 to 12 are trained to host TELUS WISE footprint sessions for elementary students and TELUS WISE seniors sessions for Canadians over the age of 60. The program was developed using insights from group discussions with seniors and youth across the country as part of the 2016 TELUS Day of Giving.
An increasing number of seniors are embracing the Internet and social media as a way to connect and reduce isolation and depression. In fact, a study in the United States saw a 30 per cent reduction in the probability of depression. At the same time, we have Canadian high school students who are digital natives and have a need to fulfill volunteer hours and learn presentation skills.
The program launched in August, and all materials are bilingual.
The program includes:
- Training TELUS WISE generations youth ambassadors on how to host:
- TELUS WISE footprint sessions – for kids aged 7 to 14 (students, sports groups, Scouts, Girl Guides, Boys & Girl Clubs, community groups, etc.).
- TELUS WISE seniors sessions – for Canadians over the age of 60 (seniors groups, etc.).
- Students, once trained, will have the ability to host TELUS WISE footprint and TELUS WISE seniors sessions within their community. Time hosting these sessions will count towards a student’s volunteer hours.
- Students are responsible for booking and hosting their own TELUS WISE sessions. Before the end of each school term, students will be provided a letter from TELUS indicating the time spent on training and hosting hours for reporting their volunteer hours.
What a fantastic program for both Seniors and Students!
Did you know: According to a study by Pew Research in 2014, 77 per cent of American seniors said they would want someone to help teach them about their devices.
So, fellow mentor and technical expert of the parental unit, what are your tips and advice? If you’re stuck, here are some great ones courtesy of TELUS.
Top Tips for Seniors
- Always set strong passwords
- A good password is at least eight characters long and includes numbers, letters and symbols.
- Be careful with the information you share online
- Think twice before you post about your contact information, full birth date, social insurance number, full names of you and your family, home address and any trip or vacation details.
- Stay on top of software upgrades to keep your devices secure
- Install software updates as soon as they are available because they have important security patches to minimize your risk of being hacked.
- Think about what your clicking on, before you click
- Never click on suspicious links or attachments, or respond to emails that you don’t recognize.
- Stick to reputable websites for online shopping
- Make sure the website is encrypted by looking for the ‘s’ in the http web link name, or the lock symbol in your browser. Both of these indicate that the site is safe.
To learn more, check out the TELUS WISE seniors guide for more great information and tips.
Also, if you’re a senior or know one that is looking to purchase their first or a new smartphone but doesn’t know where to start or what to look for, here is a great Smartphone Buying Guide from TELUS to check out!