Elizabeth is a UK trained sociologist and has worked since 1988 as an independent researcher (www.sextant.gr), undertaking a wide range of predominantly EU funded research projects. She is a founding member of the Greek NGO “50+ Hellas” that promotes the well-being of all older people through information, advocacy and research (www.50plus.gr). She had been elected President of AGE-Platform Europe (www.age-platform.org) representing its 160 member organizations and 28 million members, as well as a Director of IFA (International Federation of Ageing).
My story with ICT goes back a long time. I had friends, fellow academics who bought an Osborne – the first portable computer – in 1981-2. Up until then computers had strictly been for geeks, ugly, difficult to understand. I was writing my Ph.D. and could see the huge advantage of this intelligent advanced typewriter. The machine came with a really good manual – important as very few people had experiences of using modern computers. It was magical and at that point I fell in love with new technologies.
I have a smart phone – an iPhone – since May 2010 and I am pleased with its user friendliness. I travel a lot and can manage with this – as my computer, camera and so many other functions.
What are the major obstacles you find when using ICTs?
A major problem is that we want to use the gadgets but we are often not interested in putting in a lot of time learning to use them properly.
An example? – iCloud and alternatives. I now rent space, for safety, but suddenly my phone company offered me some free space. I find some offers confusing.
And of course passwords! How many should we remember? But this does not end here. I forget not just passwords but techniques and procedures, especially those I don’t have to do very often.
I have a patient friend who helps, but many people don’t have support. If things get messy, my recommendation is to shut down the machine and let it cool down.
I use a lot of Apps – as games and for health monitoring but one gets bored with all of them!