Becoming a Techie During COVID-19
As I write this, we await the storm. The Coronavirus - COVID-19 - is on its way to our area.
We closed the physical office yesterday. Very strange to be closing. As if we were all going on vacation at one time. Do you have what you need? Will someone come in to water the plants? Can we get back in soon?
Social distancing and isolation
The sheltered workshop and the senior centers are closed. Schools and businesses are closed. Even churches and synagogues are closed. People are getting ready and staying home. Practically no one on the streets. Surreal.
The pandemic and the necessary precautions that must be taken go against my grain. I am Little Miss Sociability. I like the people I work with. I like most of my clients. I like to exercise in groups. How long can I be isolated before I go insane?
Acceptance vs approval
In my job, I teach acceptance. I don’t like the idea of accepting the current limitations. I remind myself that acceptance is not the same as approval. I remind myself accepting a situation allows you to stop fighting reality and to move ahead in relation to what is, not what you wish it were. After all, without truly seeing what is there, how can you formulate an effective plan of attack? How do you even hope to prepare?
Technology is not my strong suit
So, I am doing things I really don’t want to do. For days we have been preparing to do therapy over video chat. I am not a technophobe nor am I technologically totally illiterate. I am, however, damn close. I can remember when 8-track tapes were high tech! What am I supposed to do here? And here? And with this? Oh, hell, no. I don’t want to learn that stuff.
But I have to.
Staying connected through technology
I need to do it to attain my goals. I want to serve my clients. I want to stay in touch with my colleagues. I am barred from doing those things in the old fashion way. Right now, the old-fashioned face-to-face way might get somebody really sick. Probably not a plan.
Zumba classes through Skype
My Zumba instructor is teaching classes over video chat. The platform she is using is Skype. Now Skype was launched in 2003. In technology terms, Skype is ancient. I just downloaded the app onto my iPad today for the first time ever. The reasons are simple. I want to keep exercising. I want to dance. I do not want to gain a ton of weight. It comes back to my goals.
Weathering the storm
Viktor Frankl said if you have a why you can stand pretty much any how. What are your values? What are your goals? Those are your whys. Those are your reasons for embracing some scary technology or doing whatever you might need to do to weather this storm.
Learning tech basics
All indications are that we are going to be weathering this storm called COVID-19 for a very long time. If you have an iPhone, get someone to talk you through using FaceTime. Putting aside your fear and a few, basic steps and you can see the kids. It is about as easy as making a phone call. Skype is a free download on either Apple or Android. Do I know how to use it? Not yet, but if I want to take a Zumba class badly enough, I will figure it out.
It might be time to embrace technology
We are not the techno generation. The percentages of people over 65 who actually use technology competently and comfortably is small. However, the time to learn a few, more basic skills might be now. We have a storm to weather. Be willing to embrace what you can use.
How are you staying connected and using technology during these uncertain times?
Do you find it easy to advocate for yourself?