The ever-changing face of technology is unlikely to ever lose pace, and many people are quick to embrace new developments and to find out about their possibilities. It seems the younger members of our society have a greater understanding of new inventions and many of them have extremely inquiring minds, making them more and more eager to explore, but it’s a sad fact that a significant proportion of those in the 50-plus age category often find themselves left behind.
If you take a random group of 50-somethings, you’ll see that some of them will understand how to operate an iPod, for example, but plenty more will have no idea of what to do. Sadly, they will also generally be reluctant to learn, partly because they believe, often mistakenly, that it will be too difficult to do so. It’s a great shame, especially when you consider that most new gadgets are far more user-friendly than many people might think.
It seems even more incredulous when you realise that most people in this older age group learned how to operate video recorders back in the early 1980s. Having to set such a machine to record a TV show at a specific time in the coming days was such a complicated process, and it defeated many who were middle-aged in those days. Yet today’s 50-somethings knew exactly how to tape that week’s episode of Dynasty.
Learn a little, discover a lot
One of the reasons why the more senior members of our community should be encouraged to understand modern technology is that a basic knowledge of one gadget could easily be applied to other things. For example, anyone who can operate the most basic apps on a mobile phone will easily be able to learn about the dos and don’ts of a digital camera, an MP3 player and a GPS unit.
And when it comes to the Internet, most middle-aged people would be truly amazed at the spectrum of possibilities that are open to them. Just a few short years ago, the prospects of instant e-mail communication, cross-globe Skype conversations and even online shopping would have seemed more akin to a science fiction novel, but these realities can and should be embraced by young and old alike.
The chances are that many 60s children will have a wealth of reference books in their homes that are used to check facts and garner information. However, one wonders how much happier these people would be if they knew they could find out all they need to know in only a second or two if they could access the web.
David Showell is a 60s child who has a generally good understanding of modern technology. He works for a company that provides affordable ferry tickets to tourists.