From remote working, catching up with friends over Zoom to kicking back with Netflix, technology has become even more foundational to how we live, work and play in the past year.
But while popping onto a video call has become second nature to many of us, there are still many Kiwis for whom adapting to digital technology isn’t so easy, either it’s because they’re happy living a more analog life or they’re simply unsure of where to start or where to get help.
Now as everything from banking to medical checkups are moving online, those New Zealanders without a high degree of tech confidence are at risk of falling behind in the face of an increasingly digitised life.
Chorus is partnering with Newshub to get these technophobic or just techsceptic Kiwis to overcome their fears and doubts to experience the extraordinary benefits of what technology offers in 2021.
Chorus is taking nominations for two New Zealanders, either individuals or families, to tackle a two week challenge where they will be given new devices and support to help them grow more confident online. You can nominate a friend or family member, or even step up and nominate yourself.
Across a three episode mini-series titled 'Challenge accepted with Chorus', Newshub will follow the selected Kiwis through all the highs, lows, challenges and successes of overcoming the digital hurdles.
Chorus will also provide the participants with free ultra-fast fibre broadband for an entire year to ensure they have the best connection possible on their journey.
Carina Willis, Head of Insights at Chorus, has done a lot of research on late adopters and says the challenge isn’t seeking to highlight anyone’s lack of knowledge, rather to illustrate the incredible potential of online connectivity to bring people together and experience the benefits technology and the internet can provide.
"They're often not seeing what value they can make out of technology because they're not currently seeing the opportunities," she told Newshub.
Carina says many late adopters are older Kiwis (but not always) and are often proud of their independence from technology, which can sometimes make reaching out for help more difficult.
"They'd love to get more help. But they're fearful and the thought of going to somewhere like Noel Leeming and asking a couple of questions can make them feel like a burden. Asking for favours doesn't really sit well with that group," she says.
"They've grown up in that human to human interaction era they're very focused on trust and very focused on control. How they have these conversations is really important."
According to Carina, the trouble is while it’s been relatively easy to live mostly offline up until recently, the pandemic has made it far more difficult and some Kiwis might need that extra nudge to digitise and change the habits of a lifetime.
"It's really hard to move someone when their position is 'I'm happy with what I've got and it works well for me right now'...It’s important to understand their world a little bit because in a lot of older demographics, to them technology is a counter to human interaction."
However, as socialising increasingly takes place online, being able to utilise the internet to maintain connection has become essential for wellbeing, particularly for those with families overseas or people living alone.
Carina also stresses that there are many different reasons for people to be unsure of tech and there is not one size to fit all, meaning the challenges each participant will face in this series will be tailored to suit their needs.
"No two people’s reasons are the same and no two people are exactly alike."
While the reasons people stay offline and analog are numerous, so too are the potential benefits to taking the tech-plunge. Entries now closed for this challenge.
This article was created for Chorus