As the old saying goes, ‘technology is great… when it works’. But when it doesn’t, it can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re like most people our age, you don’t like throwing things out. You’d rather get them fixed. But who can you call in today’s disposable, ‘just buy a new gadget’ society?
But first, have you tried turning it off and on?
It’s amazing how many technological issues can be solved simply by turning modern-day gadgets off and on, especially if they’re connected to the internet. Turning an internet-connected device off and on allows it to receive any online updates it may need to continue working properly.
So always try that simple strategy first before you start getting frustrated with any malfunctioning gadget.
What about Google or YouTube?
Assuming your tech problem isn’t stopping you from accessing the internet, have you tried searching Google or YouTube for advice on how to solve your issue? You can often solve plenty of the commonest and simplest tech issues that way.
Who to call
If turning your gadget off and on or searching online for a solution doesn’t solve your tech issue, then any family members or friends you have who are tech-savvy should be your first call ‒ especially younger people who have had the advantage of growing up with technology. They may have had the problem before or know a simple fix and be happy to help you. (And honestly, how many times have you thrown yourself on the mercy of a young Apple store employee, genius bar or not?)
If calling a tech-savvy family member or friend doesn’t solve your problem, look for a small business in your local area that provides tech support. A small business will often fix the problem rather than simply going for a new part. (It’s worth asking friends and acquaintances for recommendations, or asking in your local Facebook group.)
And if that business comes to your home, it’s even more convenient.
Many of these small tech support businesses also provide set-up as well as repair or maintenance services. They can help you to set up your technology as soon as you buy it so that it runs properly from day one and saves you the hassle of doing it yourself. Who doesn’t need help with, for example, setting up your PC, laptop or home entertainment unit? Our premise is that if it’s too tedious for an amateur, get a professional. They’ll take a tenth of the time and you’ll be less frustrated.
The most popular gadgets for over 55s
The most popular gadgets for over 55s in Australia include:
- smartphones (than can double as high-quality cameras as well as being communication and information devices).
- iPads or other tablets that you can use for reading, games or surfing the internet.
- laptops or personal computers.
- home entertainment systems that can allow you to access streaming services.
- personal health monitoring devices (including wearable tech like Fitbits and other smart health watches, as well as non-wearable health gadgets).
Any gadget that can help you to communicate, monitor your health, be entertained or do everyday tasks more easily can be very valuable to have… when it works properly!
Why fixing gadgets is often better than throwing them out
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of living in the digital age is that we live in a very disposable society. The amount of tech products going to landfill is known as ‘e-waste’.
According to the latest figures from Clean Up Australia:
- 140,000 tonnes: e-waste generated by Australians annually
- X 3: e-waste volume compared with other waste
- 70%: toxic chemicals found at landfill sites from e-waste
- 98%: that can be recycled from our e-waste
Anything we can do to minimise e-waste is better for the environment. That includes fixing gadgets rather than just throwing them out at the first sign of trouble.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest.