My daughter and I recently went with my mother-in-law to visit a long-time familly friend. The evening meal at Nana’s house was scheduled to be lobster and crab legs (special request for my husband’s birthday), but Nana had never cooked either and was asking her Italian-cook friend for advice.
This friend is Nana’s age, with grandchildren all older than my daughter. Narrow-minded as I, apparently, am, I expected Nana’s friend to reach for a cookbook or a recipe box. Imagine my surprise when she headed for the computer, jumped on-line, and pulled up Google. No more than ten minutes later, she had found and printed instructions on cooking lobster. This, from a lady whose wedding pictures could be black and white because that was the only option, at the time.
Many times since I was graduated from college, I’ve been told that cutting-edge technology can be understood and operated only by those under the age of thirty-five. As I am now learning, that is no longer the case. Modern technology is getting more and more user-friendly. Not only that, but it’s also getting to be more affordable for the average Joe. Without looking up statistics, it seems as though computer are fairly common commodities, these days. Internet access is even more common, with public libraries offering it free to pretty much anyone. Even cell phones now cater to those many years beyond thirty-five and those many years still behind.
With a young child in the family, we’re often struck by the thought that she will, in the not-too-distant future, probably be teaching us how to use whatever is the current technology, just as we are now teaching our parents how to use their computers and the internet. It’s the technological “circle of life.”
Most of us are hesitant to change and often apprehensive about stepping out into unknown territory. My guess is that the older one gets, the more settled his or her ways become, and the harder it is to consider change. With technology, the changes happen at lightning speeds, so they pile up pretty quickly. The mountain of technological advances could be pretty intimidating, so I have a special respect for folks willing to give technology a shot, even though it means a whole mountain range to cross, to get there.
Certain companies seem to be especially aware of the wide range of consumers, from the preschoolers with their parent-programmed cell phones to the email-receiving machines that cater to the less technology-savvy folks. Those companies, in my mind, deserve kudos for taking time to notice what may be, from a financial standpoint, the smaller consumer groups. Having products focused on them will probably help build confidence in being able to tackle those mountains of change.
They say that those older folks who stay active tend to live longer. In this day and age, technology is a big part of everyday life, so being willing and able to use it will help a whole lot of folks be able to stay active. Ah–the benevolent side of that technological “circle of life.”