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On Sunday September 25th, Afidence employees gathered to donate their time at the Cyber Seniors event held at Cedar Village in Mason. We gathered to help bridge the gap between today’s technology and any senior citizen who was willing to let us help make their interactions with technology a little easier. Being my first time attending, I was not sure what to expect, but had heard great things from our team’s prior two visits and couldn’t wait to see for myself! I will admit the thought of teaching others about computer related topics that stump me from time to time was a bit concerning, but my goal was to help at least one person with one computer related question.

It’s all About the Connection

I wasn’t two feet in the door when one of the seniors looked up and said, “I need help! My phone isn’t working…they said I could bring my phone and ask questions, so can you help me?” My face was immediately overcome with a huge smile as I answered, “I absolutely can!” Lucky for me, smart devices are not foreign territory. I was both happy and inspired to see her ready to engage with the technology. I was even more thrilled that we were both using the same type of phone! What are the odds?

Once we got settled, and by that I mean I was hardly in my seat, we got right to work! Looking back on all we covered, it occurred to me just how much we accomplished. When my senior started telling me about her most recent issues with her phone, it led to a captivating conversation about what she had been doing the day before when problems ensued. She explained that she wanted to learn to send an email from her phone because she wanted to respond to an email from some of her children who had just sent pictures from a wedding in New York that she couldn’t attend. She wanted to learn how to work the Safari app because she wanted to be able to search and view the video from the time her son proudly stood on stage and gave a Ted-Talk about world peace. Then she wanted me to write down all the instructions for her, so she handed me a pen that related to a story about her late husband who she had recently lost to illness. She conveniently told me the age of just about every one of her friends in the room but excluded herself until the very end when she teased me with only revealing the year she was born. I did the math and was simply astounded that this woman just shy of 90 was still so positively full of life. One of her friends, by the way, is 101.5 years old.

I did the math and was simply astounded that this woman just shy of 90 was still so positively full of life.
— Stephanie Marmora

We shared laughs, talked about life, and even took a selfie and sent it to her daughter- via email of course! There wasn’t a dull moment the entire time I was there. I asked her if she would recommend the Cyber-Seniors event to anyone in the future and she smacked her hand down on her leg, looked up at me with the most assuring, sincere face and said:

“Absolutely. This experience was life changing.”

A Serendipitous Encounter

I went into this day looking to donate my time and teach someone a thing or two about technology. As it turns out, I did both of those things; but more importantly, I made a friend. I made a friend while spending time with my other friends: my coworkers. I can’t remember the last time two hours went by so fast and made me feel so fulfilled all at the same time. When it was time for us to part ways, I couldn’t help but hug my new friend. I had no idea I was stumbling upon the chance to learn more than my new friend did today. It was, without a doubt, a serendipitous encounter.

Stephanie Marmora

Strategic Development Representative | Afidence