seniors and technology

Senior Tech Corner: The Tech Terms You Need to Know to Stay Relevant

▷ Did you know that four out of ten seniors have their own cell phones? Even though that may not sound like much, that number has actually doubled since 2013. Are you a senior who's having a hard time with technology?

Don't worry, we're here to help. With the world changing more quickly than we realize, we have to be able to keep up with the latest technology. Here are the tech terms you need to know to stay relevant!

Exploring Internet Tech Words

Let's get this straight: if you're a senior who wants to explore the world of Internet tech words, you've got to start with the basics. That being said, it's all about learning how to go online. Dying to learn the newest technology buzzwords?

Fortunately, we've done all the hard work for you. With our list of online buzzwords, you'll be keeping up with your grandkids in no time. For starters, you can get to know these popular tech terms: 

For those who are wondering what an address box is, allow us to explain. In a nutshell, an address box is the long, rectangular square that pops up at the top of your browser window. All that you have to do is punch your favorite website into the address box. 

Now that you've gotten that down, press the enter button to navigate the Internet. That was pretty easy, right? It's time to talk about using the back arrow on your Internet browser.

When it comes to using the back arrow, it's typically at the top of your browser next to the address box. This can be used to scroll back and forth through your web history. Also known as the back button, hitting the back arrow will become second-nature to you before you know it! 

How do you browse the Internet, anyway? Essentially, browsing the Internet involves reading through several different websites during your day. To do this, you need a browser like:

For those who aren't sure what kind of browser they're using, look at the top of your computer screen. It should say the browser name above your web page. Once you've learned how these steps, the rest should be a breeze!

Learning Computer Terminology 

Ready to learn more computer terminology? You've come to the right place. Some other important tech terms that you need to know include: 

To click, you can press and release your mouse button to select the section on your screen where your cursor is located. This usually involves clicking the left-hand side of your mouse. Once you've mastered the left click, you can use the right-click for more advanced websites!

Wondering what a central processing unit is? Basically, a central processing unit functions as the brain of your computer. From that point, your central processing unit can interpret and carry out any instructions that your program requires. 

In case you didn't know, a cursor is a tiny picture on your screen that looks like an arrow. To control it, just move your mouse to drag your cursor across the screen. In addition to the traditional arrow shape, your cursor can also look like:

  • An I-Beam (or a capital letter 'I')
  • A hand with a pointer finger
  • An hourglass that flips up and down

Do you know what a computer desktop is? If not, it's the informational page that pops up on your computer screen as soon as you turn it on. It has a bunch of little icons that you can click on to launch different programs. 

And then there's the dialog box. This will appear whenever your computer needs a little extra help to complete its task. Normally, you can click "ok" to make the dialog box disappear. 

Finally, there's the classic computer button, which is a small box that looks like you're pressing down on it when you click it. With buttons, you can turn many different Internet features on and off. Can it possibly get any easier than that?

Using Online Technology Words

Are you new to using online technology words? You're not alone. Nevertheless, you don't want to feel left behind in today's digitalized world. 

Additional must-know technology terms include: 

  • Drop-down lists
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Forward arrow
  • Hardware

For those who are unfamiliar with drop-down list, they're a list of options that you can make a selection from. When you see a drop-down list for the first time, it might feel a little bit confusing. 

Nevertheless, using a drop-down list doesn't have to be complicated. Just use the left-hand arrow on your mouse to see your full list of options. From then on, you can keep your finger pressed on the left-hand button of your mouse to move your cursor to your desired selection.

When you're ready, remove your finger from the mouse to finalize your selection. At that point, your drop-down list should disappear immediately. Ever had a question that you were just dying to ask someone? 

If there's no one around, you can always look to a search engine like Google to answer your frequently asked questions. It'll show you the best answer to your question. Next, there's the forward arrow. 

To find the forward arrow on your computer, you can look at the top of your browser window. What happens next is easy. If you previously clicked the back button, you can press the forward button to catch up to where you left off. 

Of course, your hardware is just a fancy name for the physical parts of your laptop or desktop computer. Sounds easy to us! 

Not sure how to entertain yourself online? Play interactive video games with other seniors to stay busy. What a fun activity!

Browsing Web Technology Terms

Want to browse more web technology terms? Look no further. Take a look at a few additional tech terms that will bring you up to speed: 

  • Homepage
  • Icon
  • The Internet
  • Keyboard
  • Link

To start, the home page is the first site that appears when you turn on the Internet. Usually, your home page will tell you valuable information about the web page that you're on. Otherwise, it can be used to navigate to other websites online. 

Curious about what an icon is? It's a tiny image or picture that can represent a computer command. For instance, the icon for printing paper will resemble a miniature printer.

When you use your mouse button to click on a computer icon, you can begin a command, open up a document, or launch a program. We've talked so much about the Internet already, but what does it actually mean?

Consider this: the Internet is an endless collection of networks around the world that can send information to one another. Technically speaking, the word "Internet" is a combination of the terms "international" and "network."

Also, a keyboard is known as the keys you can use to type commands onto your computer. Similar to the typewriters of yore, a computer keyboard has extra special keys to conduct certain functions.

Also, a link is an underlined or highlighted string of words on a website that can take you to a completely different web page. Typically, a hyperlink will look like a series of underline words. In other cases, it can look like a clickable picture. 

For those who are unsure if they're dealing with a link, you can hover your mouse over it. If your cursor turns into the pointing hand image, then that means that you can click on the word or picture that you're looking at.

Need help uploading your family photos? Try downsizing photographs to speed up the loading time!

Getting to Know Advanced Tech Terms

If you're a senior that's already pretty tech-savvy, then you may already be familiar with the terms that we mentioned above. Nevertheless, these technological terms might put your Internet IQ to the test.

Want to get to know advanced tech terms? We've got you covered. You can start with these technology buzzwords:

  • Web address
  • Content curation
  • Engagement

Let's begin with learning all about web addresses. Yes, you might be familiar with punching a uniform resource locator (URL) into the address box. But what kind of websites are you looking at?

To tell the difference between a government-sponsored website and a non-profit website, you'll need to be comfortable with the following tech terms:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .edu
  • .gov
  • .mil
  • .net

We've all seen the words ".com," but what does it actually mean? The answer is simple. Websites that end with the term .com can refer to a business or commercial organization. Naturally, you can buy things on these types of sites as well.

Also, websites that end with ".org" denote non-profit organizations. This one is a no-brainer: the tech term ".edu" involves an educational institution. For example, any college or university website will usually end in .edu.

Now, websites that end with ".gov" are typically run by the government. For those that need a good example, "www.whitehouse.gov" is an excellent example of a webpage that's controlled by a government agency. These are great for official sources of information.

Next, some websites end in ".mil." Similar to .gov, .mil websites are only reserved for military agencies to use. And websites that end in ".net" are just another form of commercial .com website. 

To use any of these websites on the Internet, just punch the web address or URL into your browser's address box. For instance, to search the website for the National Institute on Aging, type the website "www.nia.nih.gov" into your address box. Now you're totally ready to surf the web in style! 

Why Seniors Need to Stay Relevant

You might be wondering: why do I need to know a technology buzzword to stay relevant? As a senior, it's hard to stay up to date with all of the newest Internet lingo. But if you want to stay connected to your grandchildren and younger relatives, then you're going to want to keep up with the times.

Here's the kicker. Even though today's older adults did not grow up using computers or the Internet, they must play catch up in order to do things like order groceries, make video calls, and more. As a matter of fact, some seniors are using these types of technologies for the first time in their lives.

Overall, technology helps seniors by giving them an increased sense of connectivity with others. Not to mention that technology lets them stay in touch with their family too. Fortunately, many seniors are adapting to modern technology, which gives them a higher quality of living.

Overall, technology helps seniors by giving them an increased sense of connectivity with others.

Other perks of using technology as a senior include:

  • Sharing photos on social media
  • Researching information
  • Playing video games
  • Shopping online
  • Keeping up with the news

Need a little help with adjusting to modern life? If living on your own has become a total hassle, then there's no harm in researching continuing care communities.

Want to put your Internet skills to the test? Try taking up a new creative hobby online!

It's Never Too Late to Learn Tech Terms

Still confused by technology? We're here to remind you that it's never too late to learn tech terms. From browsing the Internet to turning on your computer, we got your back.

Are you a senior who needs continuing care? Find communities near you now. We promise you won't regret it!