Why Some People Hate New Technology, and How to Change Their Mind

adapting to new technology

Everyone knows the stereotypes. The old aunt who has never touched a computer, the uncle who calls his kids to set up his Mac, or the grandma who accidentally comments four times on her grandchild’s Facebook status. Maybe you have one of those relatives.

Have you found yourself getting upset at one of them for refusing to adapt to new technology? You may just not be thinking about it from their point of view. After all, there’s probably a very good reason why that person doesn’t want to try this new technology that you love so much.

If you can approach it from the other’s perspective, you have a much better chance of helping your friend or loved one upgrade to technology that could be extremely helpful. Here are some reasons the people in your life may be stuck in their ways, and some ways to help them take their life into the 21st century.

New Technology is Too Difficult

For some people, learning new processes may seem too difficult or take too long. Maybe your perfectly able uncle just doesn’t have enough time. Or perhaps your great-grandma has a hard time keeping her fingers steady. Either way, time and physical limitations can be significant barriers to many people’s decisions to upgrade.

Accessibility modifications are a great way to help people adapt to new technology. And many of these people probably don’t even know they’re available! If you haven’t had to use them or help someone else use them, you may not even know they’re there either.

Computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices have accessibility help built-in. By asking people what they need help with, you can work with them to enable the things they need. For example, if someone tends to hold down the home button on an iPhone, unintentionally activating Siri, you can help disable Siri entirely.

They Can’t Figure It Out, Even Though They Want To

People who are elderly, disabled, or both may have a more difficult time adapting to new technology. Or maybe they have never been technologically-minded. Especially if they used to love to do new things, or they’ve recently become disabled due to an illness or age, they may seem very defensive about their inability to adapt.

But it’s probably less frustration due to technological advances and more frustration at themselves. In this situation, the best thing to do is be understanding.

Make it clear that you really want to help the individual adjust to the newest smartphone or Windows update. And you won’t get upset or annoyed for not understanding it. If you need to repeat things multiple times, try re-stating it in a different way. Or find other ways to do it that may be easier. Your student is a human just like you, and perhaps just needs to learn how to do things in a different way.

They Don’t Know What They Can Do with New Technology

Some people just straight-up don’t know that they don’t have to use the phone book anymore! Introduce the technology haters in your life to user-friendly websites, and help them revolutionize the way they use technology.

You can show them how to watch movies on Netflix, shop for groceries with Instacart, and look up information on sites like PeopleFinders. Starting off with sites that are simple and potentially pleasurable to the tech hater in your life can be a great way for help you to change their mind.


There are numerous reasons why people don’t like adapting to new technology. But more often than not, the barriers are either just a lack of information or lack of confidence. If you’re trying to teach someone how to use technology that’s like second nature to you, don’t get frustrated. Instead, get excited! After all, you’re teaching someone how to make their life a little better.

For more information about technological issues, yours or others, be sure to check out the PeopleFinders Blog.

Photo credit: Leszek Czerwonka – stock.adobe.com

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