Myths about digital technology and older adults –

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Nature Aging (2022)
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In the age of rapid technological advance there are myths about older adults’ difficulties in using technology. Here I will debunk two common myths: first, the idea that age-related functional decline is entirely responsible; and second, the notion that everyone will be technologically adept once today’s older adults are gone.
Today’s older adults tend to have more difficulty than younger people do in using digital technology: computers, digital appliances, smartphones, apps, websites, chatbots and online services. Older adults are, in general, less likely and slower to achieve their goals using digital technology1,2. They also use digital technology at lower rates than do younger people3. These facts are unfortunate, as older adults are perhaps the population segment that could benefit most from digital technology, owing to limited mobility and social isolation4.
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The author thanks L. Wagner (University of San Francisco) for helpful comments that improved this Comment.
Computer Science Department, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
Jeffrey A. Johnson
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Correspondence to Jeffrey A. Johnson.
The author declares no competing interests.
Nature Aging thanks Neil Charness and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Johnson, J.A. Myths about digital technology and older adults. Nat Aging (2022).
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