House Calls Help Smartphone Users Make the Most of Their Tech

Ruthann and John Selden never had much confidence when using their smartphones. But that all changed when Verizon Wireless came knocking.

The company has offered free smartphone workshops in its stores across the country, but it never made house calls – until a small group of employees decided they needed to do just that.

The Seldens were among a capacity crowd when the wireless experts took their workshops on the road in Las Vegas and metro Phoenix. Local Verizon Wireless experts visited the Active Adult communities of Ardiente, Encanterra Country Club, and Trilogy at Vistancia to give residents hands-on help with basic smartphone features and functions. They also showed tips for using social media to connect with friends and family.

Now, the Seldens are downloading apps, streaming movies and sending photos with their wireless phones.

Even though 81 percent of U.S. cellphone users send text messages, only half of those users tackle more complex tasks like downloading apps and reading or sending email, putting the Seldens ahead of the curve.

The challenges aren’t exclusive to any one population of users. In fact, navigating the wireless world can feel a bit daunting even to savvy smartphone users and the Technorati faithful.

Still, only one quarter of mature adults 65 and older uses a smartphone, and AARP reports that only 36 percent of its members are “extremely or very comfortable with technology.” For many “digital immigrants,” the path to becoming smarter than a smartphone may require a little extra instruction.

“Help is available. You just have to ask,” said Norma Smoler who participated in the workshop hosted in her North Las Vegas community of Shea Homes at Ardiente. Norma’s husband Joe added, “I even learned how to text hands-free using voice commands.”

There’s no need to wait for a house call, though. Most Verizon Wireless stores offer workshops daily, and they’re a pressure-free way to discover how to make the most of smartphones and tablets.

Find a nearby workshop and all the details – times, locations and topics – on the Verizon Wireless website.