For this man, teaching seniors the ins and outs of computers

For those of us who weren’t born with a cell phone in our hands, negotiating the world of technology can be troublesome.

Take me, for example. I can wander around the internet fairly well, but suddenly I found myself needing to install a new printer that absolutely refused to talk to my computer or any other household gadget.

My solution? Shut down and find a way to live without printing.

But then, the big internet company sent us a new router. Now I was really in trouble.

I mentioned this to a friend, who pulled out a card and said, “Call this guy.”

This guy is Barry Gordon, owner and operator of SeniorTechTutor.com. He came to my house, didn’t make me feel stupid and quickly had all my equipment conversing with my other equipment. Heck, even my cell phone prints now.

Here’s the cool thing about Gordon. He’s 66 years old. He doesn’t come into your house, grab your phone or computer and mumble while he fixes stuff, like some people’s grandkids do. (Are you listening?)

He patiently shows seniors how to do things themselves because, he said, “It’s a challenge for people who have never grown up with this.”

The world, Gordon noted, relies more and more on computers. If seniors want their medical information, they have to log into a portal. Many of them have no idea how to do that.

Banks want them to pay bills and receive statements online. That frightens many of them.

Their grandchildren want video chats and they have no idea what to do on their end.

But the biggest problem Gordon encounters is passwords. People create them, don’t write them down and forget them.

”I can’t tell you how much time I spend on passwords,” he said.

Gordon goes into seniors’ homes and patiently tutors them in how to do the things they want on a computer or cell phone. No more, no less. If, like me, you want it to work but don’t care why or how it happens, he’ll give you the how, not the why. If you have a thirst for more, he can feed that, too.

He also shows clients how to connect their phones to their cars and offers group lessons at libraries and senior centers.

Gordon first encountered computers in the early 1980s, when he felt challenged to keep up with his children. By 1984, he said, his dry-cleaning business was way ahead of the curve with its reliance on an Apple computer.

In July 2018, when he left Quality Cleaners, his dry-cleaning business in Lemoyne, he took with him years of mostly self-taught computer knowledge.He decided to turn it into a business because he’s not a guy who likes a lot of down time. He enjoys computers, he said, “because I’m good with my hands, and I like figuring things out.”

So far his second career has been good for him and his clients. “I absolutely love my job because I am helping people,” he said.

NANCY ESHELMAN: [email protected]