According to studies published by The Verge, “Facebook users ages 65 and older shared more than twice as many fake news articles than the next-oldest age group of 45 to 65, and nearly seven times as many fake news articles as the youngest age group (18 to 29).”
You’ll probably be quick to say, “that’s extremely likely” and have your own horror stories about dad’s forwarded links about politics or mom’s self-medication (“Eh, sabi sa internet, anak!”).
This is what Koree Monteloyola, founder of Kairos I.T. Services, felt when she made it her personal advocacy to help senior citizens navigate the world of tech. “I had experienced it several times, online and offline. They tend to share wrong information, whether it’s about health, politics, or showbiz. They need to know the difference between fake or real news,” says Koree. She also cited how some seniors attend their “events because their kids don’t have time to teach them.” (Raise your hand if you’re guilty as charged. Eeep!)
As a form of thanksgiving when her company celebrated its fourth anniversary, Koree’s team ran its first seniors workshop/tutorial. The event was a huge success, and she’s been asked to conduct seminars and workshops ever since. In fact, training is now part of the services that her company offers. However, for Kairos-led workshops, seniors never have to pay for their learning sessions. That much is part of their advocacy stance.
After a series of successful events, they decided to have a repository for the lessons, “so that the seniors can visit and review them any time,” Koree explains. So, from an initial Facebook Group page, they recently upgraded and launched www.techieseniorcitizens.com, This website is an active, online portal with tutorials and lessons geared towards teaching seniors how to be responsible online users.
The goal of the advocacy and the site is to essentially turn seniors into “power users” of tech. And, as millennials who are more immersed in digital technologies, it is now “our duty to teach our parents, titos and titas, lolos and lolas how to navigate the world of digital media and tech. It is our turn to protect them online,” says Koree.
Koree also makes a strict disclaimer that her workshops are neither about politics nor about telling seniors what to believe. Rather, it’s about knowledge, education, and empowerment. “The focus is proper internet usage with the correct skills,” says Koree. Soon, “the website will have more interactive content, like tutorials and quizzes, so that seniors can determine what their level is as a responsible online user,” she adds.
Like a dutiful daughter, take time out to get your parentals and seniors schooled. This website can hopefully help you along. It’s a win-win, too, because while your ’rents or grandparents turn into digital savants (Who knows? They may even be closet influencer superstars!), you’ll also get fewer PM and inbox spam.
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