I don't consider myself an early adopter to technology. I've never camped outside of Best Buy and I only upgrade my phone when Verizon tells me it's time. However, I am interested in new ways of doing things, especially if they save me time and money. I like to keep at a moderate pace with technology.
But not all of us baby boomers are keeping a moderate pace with technology. In fact, I know some of my friends that are still nostalgic about caller ID. Or, worse yet, hanging on to their old PDA with the writing wand.
Technology is moving at an incredibly fast pace. In the past 10 years, we've seen innovations even the Jetsons would have a hard time imagining.
Amid all the change, you may have gotten a bit out of step. Get back with the times by ditching these five relic technologies.
1. Your landline
I gave up my land line about five years ago and have never looked back. I held on to the line because I mistakenly thought it was my only way to be alerted in case of an emergency.
Did you know you can register your cell phone number with your local county so they can contact you during an emergency? Just search for "Reverse 911 in [your county]" to find out how to do it in your area. Register all of you family members' cell phones to make sure everyone gets contacted in the event of an emergency.
Call your phone company to cancel your landline right now. You won't be sorry you did.
2. Your long-distance phone plan
Remember how cool it was when someone added you to their Friends & Family plan? That gesture said, "You're not only my friend, you're someone I'm going to call without worrying about how many minutes have passed." Back then an MCI friendship had way more meaning than being friended on Facebook today -- by your neighbor's sister's high school crush.
If you still have a long-distance calling plan, it's time to research your options. Cell phone companies charge by the minute, with most companies offering unlimited plans. It doesn't matter if you're local or long distance -- a minute is a minute. And it's way cheaper than it was during the 1980's when calling plans were so popular.
So get on the phone with your cell phone service provider and discuss your long distance calling options.
3. Internet Explorer
I'm not saying that the latest version of Internet Explorer is really all that bad, but if you think the "e" with a blue circle around it means Internet, then it's time to broaden your horizons.
Internet Explorer used to be the only way you could get to the Internet on your PC and, with a Mac, your only option was Safari.
Then tell all your friends, "Hey! I'm using Chrome -- and not just for my 1959 Corvette's bumpers!".
4. Rolodex for your contacts
Did you just do a double-take? Does this look like your Rolodex?
Managing contacts has always been difficult. You know tons of people, you have important phone numbers, therefore you have very important random slips of paper. What good are they if you can't find them?
Managing your contacts on your computer allows you to share those same contacts on your smartphone. Once those virtual slips of paper are stored on your phone, you'll know who to call and who's calling you. You can even share your contacts with other contacts. And even better, you can bring up a map with turn-by-turn driving directions in case you want to see that contact in person.
How cool and useful is that?
5. Your ordinary cell phone
There are more than 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide, and over 51 million of those are iPhones. If you still think you're smart by not having a smartphone, you may be old. Not only can you use a smartphone to make phone calls and check email, you can also take awesome pictures, record videos and listen to your music collection anytime.
When you download third-party apps or connect to the web, you'll be able to find a great restaurant, get driving directions, and view the menu long before you're seated at your table.
So if you're one of those people who always picks the wrong thing to order at a restaurant, go order a new smartphone.
Whether you want to understand what your grandkids are talking about at the dinner table or what Carson Daly is talking about in the Orange Room on the Today show, it's time you start learning how technology can save you time, cut your monthly expenses, and make you look younger.
Signing up for our weekly update is the best way to make sure you keep pace with technology.