Perceived Operational Risk
Perceived Operational risks are the most common type of risks and relate to the fear of failing to use technology. The senior population is growing, and lack of engagement with new technology is an issue impacting social connection. Older people are concerned and fearful as to whether they will be able to use their computer, tablet, or mobile phone due to their own personal ICT abilities. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and get frustrated when they cannot get their devices to work. They don’t trust themselves to overcome an ICT challenge presented to them. This fear is focused on whether the digital device will really do what they want it to do and includes being in control of the functional aspects of different products.
For Joshua, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:
“I fear wasting my time using my ICT device(s).”
This risk may be manifested as a feeling that learning a task might be too time consuming to be worth the user's time, leading the user not to engage with it. For example, Joshua does not use any social media, as he feels it would be a waste of his time. He prefers to meet people face to face.
“I fear I won’t understand the language of new technology, e.g., Bluetooth, 5G.”
Operational risks can be demonstrated as a fear of not understanding the language of technology, a specific app or dealing with software updates. For instance, Joshua wants to keep the old version of his MS Office package because he thinks he will not learn the new one.
“I fear I won’t know how to operate my device and forget the instructions before I can use it.”
Operational risks may also be exhibited as a fear of not knowing how to operate a device and forgetting the instructions or doing something wrong to it. For example, Joshua is afraid to use the computer his son gave him because he is unsure of how to use it and he’s forgotten the quick instructions his son gave him with the device.