When a mature person says to me “I don’t understand new technology” my reply is “If a human invented it, a human can use it”. I believe every senior can master modern technology, and benefit from it.
I wasn’t always pro-IT, I thought it was invasive and time-wasting, not to mention eroding our good manners. You know, that person who keeps one eye on their mobile phone, flicking their thumb over the screen while you’re trying to have a conversation. I avoided e-readers, I kept my landline phone and used a small pre-paid mobile for texting only. Then I realised I was missing out on a lot of good things!
Things like exploring a holiday destination with Google Maps, or my cousin walking around her kitchen with a laptop while I viewed the design via Skype, and the ability to download an e-book or watch a video on my iPad any time of the day or night. The joy of being connected to the internet for instant information on my mobile, staying in touch simply and easily, this liberation never ceases to amaze me. Everything from family to blogging, bookings to e-newsletter subscriptions, all via technology.
In the State Library of Queensland Digital Futures Lab, one of my delights is showing seniors the Augmented Reality Sandpit and Virtual Reality. They are just as gob-smacked as me. It is our early viewing diet of sci-fi shows coming to life! Perhaps phone etiquette needs improving, and I may never give myself over to 24/7 connectivity, but I enjoy the benefits of IT and have fun exploring the endless world wide web on a device as small as my hand.
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward
N.B. This post also appeared on State Library of Queensland blog for Seniors Week.