Digital Elders Upgrade for Work, Family and Peace of Mind

Sep. 22, 2013 / By

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Los Angeles Sentinel/New America Media , News Feature, Thandisizwe Chimurenga

Photo: Digital Elders Denise Davidson, 53 (left), with Peggy Powell, 76, comparing notes on smart phone use. (Photo by Thandisizwe Chimurenga)

Part 2. Read Part 1 here.

LOS ANGELES—Work and familial concerns were part of the reason Denise Lamb decided to sign up for a computer classes at the Digital Elders (DE) project in South Los Angeles. At the time she took the course, she worked for a local nonprofit heavily engaged in social media for exposure and legislative advocacy.

“Social media was so completely new to me,” she said. “I had just learned how to text, I had been texting maybe six months, but I wasn’t real comfortable with it; and I was new to Facebook. I thought [since] I have a lot of nieces and nephews and they’re on Facebook, I need to learn more about this so I can communicate with them because they are all back East.”

Lamb also said she was concerned about safety because she had ventured into using her credit card online. “I needed to know what was a secure site and how could I protect myself,” she recalled.

For many of the Digital Elders, the extent of their electronic literacy began and ended with their workplace. Prior to becoming a Digital Elder, Lamb said she rarely used her desktop computer at home. “I didn’t want to bring the workplace home with me,” said Lamb, which is why she hardly ever turned on her home computer.

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