California's User Group keeps seniors connected to newest technology

Around 60 people recently got together in a community center in San Jose, California to discuss some of the newest technology - specifically, Google's Gmail service. The only notable thing about the gathering was that the crowd wasn't what one would expect. Most were over the age of 55 and very involved in the topic, according to San Jose Mercury News Service.

While older adults are traditionally viewed as behind the times when it comes to computers, this seems to be rapidly changing as technology becomes more of a national phenomenon and attracts senior interest.

These kinds of meetings were originally started by retired systems engineer Roger Fong and the participants are known as User Group.

California's User Group keeps seniors connected to newest technology The attendees have been meeting each month at the community center since 1999.

Fong originally worked with computer help service SeniorNet, but wanted to take it a step farther.

"One of the problems... was after you take a class, what do you do next?" Fong told the news outlet. "How do you keep people interested?"

Pew research has shown that social media is also increasingly popular among older adults - there was a 100 percent increase in senior users from April 2009 to May 2010. Residents in assisted living facilities may especially benefit from this kind of technology, as it can help grandparents stay connected to distant family members.

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