(Stock image/Metro Creative Connection)

(Stock image/Metro Creative Connection)

Game-changing tech for the non-tech savvy Millennial

I recently turned 36, and I guess that technically makes me a Millennial. While I resist the label and feel like a lot of the stereotypes associated with my generation don’t apply to me, one is true: we’re the first generation to live half of our childhoods without technology and the other half with.

I’m old enough to remember when computer time at school was once a week. There were maybe a couple dozen old Apple computers in the computer lab for the whole school. We mainly played Oregon Trail.

Even in junior high, you’d still probably need to go to the library to use a computer. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was in college and I was never really into video games. The one computer game we had was a reading and critical thinking game called “Midnight Rescue!”

So while the rest of my generation seems to have caught up with the technology gap — as we’re all supposedly social media influencers who don’t have “real jobs” or at least have an internet-based side hustle — at least, in some ways, I relate more to Gen X. I’m more old school.

I’m only active on one social media platform for personal use, I likely will never attempt to make a Tik Tok dance video, I don’t really understand Bitcoin or NFTs and I don’t own an iPhone or an iPad.

There are however, a few apps and tech toys that bring me joy and make my life easier.

When I was looking for ways to listen to music, Spotify was recommended to me. Besides really making me feel my age by making me realize all the songs I liked were from 10-plus years ago before I had kids, I really enjoy the platform.

I really like how it makes it easy to find new artists in the genre you enjoy based on the artists you like when you first register. I also find it easier to build playlists and listen wherever I go than YouTube. Besides a few ads here and there, a free Spotify account works for me.

This might make me sound more like a Boomer than a Millennial, but I still remember the days when you had to print directions off of Map Quest and study your route, so using Google Maps on my cell phone is definitely an upgrade. Occasionally it leads me astray, but most of the time it’s very accurate and user friendly. I use it constantly.

I have lost countless hours to “doom scrolling” through Facebook, but I’ve also learned a lot about things I’m interested in through Facebook reels as the platform’s algorithms picked up on my browsing habits. I’ve learned a lot about art, gentle parenting, tips for getting organized, and even mental health. It’s amazing how informative it can be to hear from other people dealing with similar things and how they make it relatable and accessible instead of just a list of symptoms on Google. I’ve found some of the content very valuable, though I still need to try to be disciplined and limit my screen time!

Buying wireless headphones has been a game-changer. I’ve tried AirPods, but I prefer a headphone for comfort and the feeling or cancelling out other noises. It helps me concentrate when there are other distractions and noise around me and I can do tasks around the house while listening. Basically, it turns the volume down when I’m overstimulated so I’m less irritable.

Likewise, I love my portable wireless speaker. I can take shows or music with me anywhere and make it loud enough for everyone in the car to hear by syncing it with the video the kids are watching or to the family road trip playlist on my phone.

Likely this list won’t be all that helpful to anyone but maybe it gave you a chuckle or two at this non-tech savvy gal who thinks basic modern technology is revolutionary.