For many senior citizens, getting to grips with smartphone technology can sometimes prove problematic. For a start, the small on-screen text is often difficult to read and the multitude of features and functions can lead to mistakes during operation. However, one elderly man turned this rule on its head when his phone was suddenly upgraded from a basic no-frills smartphone to a fully-featured smartphone at his local phone shop. But instead of being overwhelmed by the functions, he took on the challenge of getting to grips with the additional features and, within a matter of months, had learned some amazing things.

Studies have shown that old folks in Japan are very keen to embrace current smartphone technology, however the practical realities are that age-related conditions sometimes get in the way. To overcome this, many phone companies have started rolling out senior-citizen-friendly smartphones, known abroad as basic no-frills smartphones, or in Japan as the “Raku-Raku” series of smartphones. These intuitive, substantially simplified phones are heralded as a way to include senior citizens in the smartphone revolution. And many elderly people insist that they’d be lost without them.

But one exception to this rule is an 84-year-old Japanese man who popped into to his local mobile phone shop to upgrade his existing Raku-Raku smartphone for a newer model. The shop staff, instead of giving him an upgrade to another Raku-Raku phone, upgraded his device to your average fully-featured smartphone. You’d think that a host of problems would have arisen as a result. For example, incidents involving the elderly man not being able to contact his loved ones or, even worse, becoming involved in an internet scam as a result of inadvertently accessing an unscrupulous site. But according to his grandson, who made a posting on an internet forum, the pensioner managed to quickly learn some things you wouldn’t believe:

“When my grandad got his Raku-Raku smartphone switched for a normal smartphone, I was a bit worried. But within a matter of five months he’d become skilled in making purchases at an online grocery store, reserving books on a library’s internet system, utilizing the phone’s GPS function to call a taxi via a taxi application, and even using internet banking to transfer spending money into my bank account. His ability to learn puts younger generations to shame!”

The elderly man had clearly outgrown the need for a basic no-frills smartphone and thinking about it, it’s quite amazing what a few months of getting used to a piece of technology did for him. As would be expected, many net users were similarly astonished:

“I changed my mum’s phone over to an iPhone but she didn’t even know it had applications.”
“Just thinking about the old man using the internet banking feature on his smartphone makes me laugh.”
“He’s more of an expert than me!”
“The only things I can do on my phone are make phone calls, mail and post on message boards like I’m doing now.”
“I’ve got nothing but praise for the man, learning something new at that age is quite admirable!”
“He’s been around for a while and presumably learned a lot of things in his life. When you think about it, learning how to use a smartphone shouldn’t be that difficult.”
“How about buying him a Macbook next? I bet he could do some amazing things with that.”

Grandson: “It looks like my grandfather captured a taxi company’s bar-code that was posted inside a public phone box. He then used the taxi application to call a taxi. His ability to learn, even at 84 years old is quite astounding.”

On a final note, let us say that this type of lively senior citizen is an inspiration to us all and we hope he continues to enjoy many a smartphone-filled day!

Source: Kanasoku
Image: eltiempo