Technology

~By Patrick McNerthney

Technology. Is it your best friend or mortal enemy? Dream come true or that nightmare where you’re trapped in a dark cell, slowly filling up with frigid water? For me technology is definitely part mortal enemy, part phobia. For example, last weekend I turned to Netflix to find something to watch. This is a rare occurrence – I come in a distant third in my household’s tv-watching chain of command. 

Unfortunately, when I opened the app I was greeted with an overwhelming amount of streaming information, recommendations and promotions. I had no idea where to begin. After roughly five minutes I panicked and turned it off to watch the local news from our antenna instead. Lesson learned: go to Netflix with something you want to watch already in mind. 

(Not as easy as it looks.)

Thus I totally understand how technology can actually impede the elderly and other vulnerable populations from getting the things they need. Pandemic or no, if they have not adapted, just getting something simple can be difficult. Imagine navigating Amazon’s labyrinth of a website when you don’t know how to search for a specific item or browse a category. It would be just like my Netflix experience – overwhelming, and frustrating. 

Undoubtedly, one of your jobs as a service provider is the unenviable task of teaching technology to your residents. This can either be a source of stress or a source of bonding. When trying to start activities or engage those under your care, it may be hard to gain enrollment in new things without providing some examples or being extremely organized.  

This is where Fine Art Miracles can help! You can use Art Therapy and other resources as tools to foster trust and connection with the community you serve. Art therapy allows for freedom of expression, which in turn fosters feelings of confidence and self-worth. Over time bit by bit, these kinds of experiences give credence to your role as an empathetic leader – creating a posture that allows you to effectively bond with those you are trying help, especially with something as potentially daunting as technology. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact the folks at  Fine Art Miracles if you’d like to learn more about how creative expression fosters confidence and trust. They’re happy to help! If you’re having trouble with Netflix they may be able to help you there too. In fact, I’d better call them myself; I still can’t figure this thing out! I’ll let you know what they say.