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07.06.23 | Sage Advice

Digital Essentials: Navigating The Larger Web

For many older adults, engaging with digital technology is a journey of discovery and empowerment. It’s like learning to cook a new dish – it can be daunting at first, but with the right ingredients and recipe, it’s a joy to create something wonderful. Just as we advocate for a proactive approach to vibrant living, taking an active role in understanding and using digital tools can help older adults stay connected, continue learning, and contribute meaningfully in today’s digital age.

Digital Navigation: Walking Through the Web

Walking is fundamental to our daily lives. It’s how we get from one place to another. Similarly, browsing the internet is a form of digital walking. We navigate from one website to another, finding information, connecting with loved ones, shopping, or learning new things. Search engines like Google are the shoes that protect our feet, guiding us to where we want to go. However, remember to tread wisely and stay on safe paths, using websites that are secure (often marked with a small padlock icon near the URL) and avoiding clicking on suspicious links, just like you would avoid walking on a slippery surface.

Online Learning: Dressing Your Mind

Just as we dress ourselves in different clothes for different occasions, we dress our minds with knowledge for various scenarios. Digital tools offer older adults myriad ways to continue learning. Educational platforms such as Coursera, Khan Academy, or even YouTube provide a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, on topics ranging from history to cooking, to learning a new language. Donning this digital attire can enhance one’s sense of purpose, encouraging continuous learning and curiosity.

Digital Communication: The Nutritious Social Meal

Eating is essential for physical health, and social communication is food for our emotional well-being. In a digital context, tools like Facebook, Skype, or Zoom are akin to nourishing meals. They provide essential social interaction, enabling engagement with family, friends, and social groups from the comfort of home. Digital communication can also reduce stress, offering an easy way to stay connected and engaged, even when physical distance might make it challenging.

Setting Intentions: A Digital Agenda

In the same vein as setting life goals, having a digital agenda can help guide your online activities. This could be as simple as deciding to spend ten minutes each day learning a new skill on YouTube, or setting aside time each week to video call with family. Your digital intentions should serve your broader life goals and promote vibrant living.

Taking Control: Understanding and Mastering Digital Tools

Mastering the digital world might seem overwhelming, just as learning new daily tasks can be. But remember, it’s okay to take it one step at a time. Start with basic tasks, like sending an email or making a video call, and gradually add more complex activities, such as online shopping or digital banking. You are in control of your digital journey, just as you are in your daily life.

At Sage Collective, we believe that understanding and using digital tools can significantly enhance our model of vibrant living. It offers endless possibilities for learning, connection, and engagement. Just as we actively participate in our daily lives, we can also take an active role in navigating the larger network of the web, leading to a more enriched and vibrant life. It’s never too late to embark on this digital journey.

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06.08.23 | Sage Advice

Adapting to The Internet Highway: A User-Friendly Guide for Older Adults to Embrace the Digital World

We often refer to the internet as a modern highway. Imagine jumping onto the freeway of knowledge and connections, taking exits to destinations of choice, and disembarking when you’ve reached your desired location. The concept may seem daunting, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up in this digital age, but fear not! Just like learning to navigate any new terrain, once you understand the rules of the road, the journey becomes more manageable. 

However, the internet highway, much like any journey, comes with its share of challenges and potential roadblocks. But we firmly believe that it is never too late to embrace this digital world, and doing so can unlock new realms of communication, knowledge, and convenience. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth ride.

Learn the Basic Tools:

Your digital journey begins with understanding the basic tools. Computers, smartphones, and tablets are your vehicles on the Internet highway. Start by familiarizing yourself with their functionalities, like turning them on/off, charging, and installing applications. 

Understanding the Online Map:

Search engines like Google are the maps of the digital world. They help you locate the information or services you’re looking for. Entering words related to your topic of interest (keywords) will lead you to numerous websites, images, news, and more. On your journey, these tools within the online map will be useful resources in helping you better understand all of the directions you can travel. 

Safety First:

As on any journey, safety is paramount. Beware of digital road hazards like phishing (fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information) and cyberbullying. Always ensure you’re visiting secure websites (look for ‘https’ in the URL), avoid sharing sensitive personal information online, and maintain strong, unique passwords for all your accounts. 

Social Media as Scenic Routes:

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are excellent places to connect with loved ones, meet new friends, or join groups of interest. However, always be mindful of the information you share publicly. 

Embrace Online Learning:

Many institutions offer free or inexpensive courses online, from learning new languages to picking up cooking tips. Websites like Khan Academy, Coursera, or TED Talks are wonderful resources to broaden your horizons right from the comfort of your home. 

Tech Support is Your Roadside Assistance:

Finally, remember that there’s always help available. From the tech-savvy grandchild to the friendly helpline of your device manufacturer, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you find yourself lost on the digital highway.

Embracing the internet highway isn’t about leaving the past behind but about enriching our lives with the tools and resources of the present. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Happy traveling!

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03.17.22 | Sage Advice

Why Technology Can Help You Discover Your Purpose

While the internet offers an endless amount of affordances, it often comes with a sense of overwhelming. Often, people will approach this matter by disengaging with the medium. But what if we started looking at it from a different perspective, thinking about how we can take advantage of technology to better our wellbeing and find our purpose?

For most, the meaning of life lies in the relationship we build with our family and community or through the application of various goals and values we assign to ourselves with time. As a significant element of Sage Collective’s 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, we believe that discovering a purpose is an essential component of living vibrantly. 

What many people often forget is that our purpose isn’t set. It ebbs and flows and changes as we do. Throughout these shifts of perspective, we find ourselves lost and without direction, which is why it’s so critical to experience a sense of connection, an affordance technology offers.

Because of technology, we are more connected and informed than ever before, but it’s also more difficult than ever for us to hide from negative behaviors. “Technology has to be utilized to bridge the gap that it has created. When so much of our lives are played out through technology; the best way to enhance them might just be through it,” says Constellation AI, one of the leading companies building technology to enhance human wellbeing. 

Because of technology’s various resources, including access to new communities, activities and knowledge, it has the potential to empower individuals and better our ability to find purpose. Discover how you can use technology to better yourself, find a way to live in harmony with both your physical and digital environment, and through that connectedness, you’re sure to discover your inner purpose. 

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02.24.22 | Sage Advice

Curate Your Home to Support a Vibrant Lifestyle

Studies have discovered that more than 80 percent of how long the average person lives is influenced by their lifestyle and environment, while only around 20 percent is influenced by genes. Knowing this and the fact that the majority of our lives are spent within our homes, it’s more important than ever to understand the importance of curating your home to strengthen your wellbeing. Here are a handful of ways you can do so: 

Most individuals don’t think about the impact their surrounding environment can have on their longevity and health, but a thoughtfully curated environment can leave positive effects on anyone’s health.  

Utilize Natural Light

One of the most important – and easiest – things you can implement in your home to support a vibrant lifestyle is by taking advantage of as much natural light as possible. Whether this means leaving your shades open throughout the day or pulling back your curtain when the sun is shining, the benefits natural light provides are too good to lose. 

Personalize

Another great way you can easily curate your home is by personalizing your decor with health motivators. There are various ways you can decorate your home to help motivate you to stay healthy. Framing pictures or art of your favorite place to be outdoors is a great way to encourage you to spend time outside more often. Other homes practice this by dedicating an area of their house to display achievements and items that make them proud. 

Support Yourself With Technology

Taking advantage of the various technologies that are accessible to you is another great way you can support a vibrant lifestyle within your home. And while phones, tablets and computers are amazing resources, countless other devices can provide even more benefits to your health. Whether you’re looking for kitchen tools to boost your diet, like a slow cooker or multi-cooker, or devices that can help you sleep, like a white noise machine, technology is a powerful way to curate your environment to better your wellbeing. 

Whether you think of it or not, you’re more than likely spending more time at home than you realize. Because of this, taking a few thoughtful actions to curate your living environment to support vibrant living could leave a huge impact on your wellbeing, changing the trajectory for the rest of your life.

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02.10.22 | Sage Advice

5 Podcasts to Help You Start the Year off Great

With the new year comes a plethora of rich podcasts for audiences to dive into. As our Vibrant Learning Program with Chicago Commons continues to explore the affordances of modern technology, we wanted to share a few tips of our own. Last autumn, we spotlighted five of our favorite podcasts at the time, and today, we’re spotlighting five more that are sure to bring you joy and an excess of knowledge throughout the year:

Hidden Brain

Hidden Brains

Hidden Brains prides itself on being “a conversation about life’s unseen patterns”. Each week, the stimulating show explores deep questions that lay at the heart of the changing world to help listenings not only better understand their surroundings but also themselves. Episodes range from discussions on the psychology of self-doubt, working from home, difficulties of apologizing and everything in between. Archived episodes of the beloved podcast can be found on NPR, and new episodes can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more. 

Reply All 

For some of us, the internet is an unexplored world and for others, it’s a comforting tool. And while those audiences seem distant, Reply All provides a perfect place for everyone – novice or expert – to listen and learn. The tech podcast does an amazing job of exploring stories involving complex technologies in accessible ways, explaining what they are talking about as they go. Previous episodes have included investigating online scams to the best accounts you should follow on various social media platforms. You can listen to Reply All on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more.  

Grief Cast

While a podcast all about the process of grief might not sound fun, Grief Cast explores themes hard to find anywhere else in the podcast world. Cariad Lloyd, the podcast’s host, brings a new comedian guest to the show each week, which helps transform the discussion into a dark comedy at times. Wandering through discussions of grief, loss, and the “weirdness that happens when someone passes”, Grief Cast is a perfect podcast for anyone looking to feel a little better during a hard time. You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more. 

How to Fail With Elizabeth Day

With so many podcasts filled with stories of success, it’s sometimes just nice to hear how some people’s failures led to a larger impact than their largest success. How to Fail With Elizabeth Day provides just that; Day shares her platform to interview a variety of guests on how their failures have shaped who they have become today. The inspiring, comforting and relatable podcast showcases just how when we think we’ve hit rock bottom, there is always a way up. You can find the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more. 

The Daily

Known as one of the most popular podcasts around, The Daily covers all you need to know about world news in less than 20 minutes. The New York Times produced podcast covers one in-depth news story each weekday. Michael Barbaro, journalist and the host of the show, provides listeners with the top story of the day paired with guests that include Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, other acclaimed journalists. The archived episodes are easy to explore for listeners, and there are many ways to listen, including on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Echo or simply from The New York Time’s Website.  

While podcasts may be an unknown area for many, the audio stories afford amazing resources, tools and manners of entertainment for both newcomers and natives alike. You can listen to each of the podcasts on their websites, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music or Google Podcasts. 

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