Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Aged fifty+? There's a conspiracy against you.

Are you aged fifty or over?  Baby boomer or older?

Do you think you have more trouble than younger people grasping all the new technology?

Have you humbly asked a young person for help, accepting the not-quite-concealed sneer as if you maybe deserve it?

Well, you are not inferior  and certainly not dim. 

Older people have trouble with the new technology because it is designed to exclude them.  Deliberately?  I'm not quite sure.

But look at my new Android tablet.  Just a small black rectangle with a screen. If you peer through your glasses, you find a few irregularities on the side.  No nice clear on/off switch, of course. But if you press for several seconds on a particular portion (that you can't quite see, mind you)  something starts to happen.  And even that delay in response is a potential problem.  Machines are meant to respond instantly, not after several seconds during which time the potential user of the technology has already pressed hard on several other areas of the edge and maybe the screen, trying to make the damn thing do something.

So why have on/off switches become tiny and usually coloured black on black?  Why is nothing labelled on and off,  but in code instead?   Its effect is that sharp-eyed young people (as we all were once)  can see it, and highly intelligent, sophisticated and knowledgeable people are humbled. The designers of these things are young - look at the sort of words they use - they scream juvenile. Google, Yahoo.  Even sillier ones that I can't think of right now.  And 'blog.'  I dislike that word; it is ugly on the ear.  But a young person chose it and now we are stuck with it.

Things are 'intuitive' these days.  Myself, I prefer logic.  I have a washing machine, maybe 10 years old.  It is called 'Fuzzy Logic.'  There is a lot that is fuzzy in the way it performs, but I have yet to find much that is logical.

The VCR that only the kids could work. Maybe because it's on the floor and older knees won't bend so easily to see the miniscule controls.  But only older people have VCRs any more - we are not so quick to throw things away when they still work. The DVD, again with all the tiny symbols black on black - or if you're lucky 'off-black'  for contrast.  Mobile phones.  You just cannot buy a mobile phone that's easy to work. Instead, they'd rather charge a fortune for a gadget that has a multitude of things that are not wanted.

We are older people, fifty and over.  Our hair has gone grey.  If we were gorillas, we'd be 'silverbacks,' respected for our maturity.

Instead, the world likes to denigrate us.

But be proud. Probably all of those grey-haired people in the picture opposite do use computers, most will use smart-phones and a lot will even use tablets and androids and Kindles. 

They may have tried to exclude us from the new technology that surrounds us,

but they have not succeeded.

This silver-back is writing a blog, has manipulated a picture to make it more interesting, and once I've finished here, I'll check,  (online, of course,)  to see how my book sales are going.


  1. Bring it on... I just wish this spelling challenged 60+ baby boomer had had access to computer technology when I was a student. The 'Good Old Days' weren't - tablets and smart phones are fun. Google will tell you how they work, without the deprocating looks given if you resort to asking a young person. :-)

  2. I'm having a ball with my iMac, on which I just downloaded a ton of new software. Re writing, I wouldn't go back to the old typewriter and whiteout for anything. At nearly 80, I can't wait to check out all the new features I've just downloaded from Apple. Good times, these, for us creative folks! (To say nothing at all about Skype and video calls around the world!)

  3. I am quite sure that I would never have written any books if I'd had to write it out by hand, and only maybe if I'd had to type. The world would have gone without Shuki and Bob and Gerry and Frank and Sid and Zahu and...

  4. Well said - oh very well said.

    I do get tired of being treated as though I haven't got a clue when I have more than a clue, I sometimes even have the solution. On the subject of "blog" I think that it is easier to deal with when you remember it is actually an abbreviation of "Web log" which is a bit Star Wars and more exciting - Diane's web log 2013 - yeah that works. I love the fact that we can all self publish and make covers and illustrations and all of that stuff and I think that we must look from our heights of higher wisdom and shake our heads lovingly as we watch the bright young things making their mistakes.

  5. My washing machine (Bauknecht) and is now 25 years old and works fine. Two years ago the motherboard of my 4 year old laptop crushed. The shop assistant recoiled, 4 years? They're not supposed to last that long!
    As adjusting goes, us silver-hearts were were born with fuzzy logic - we're time-transcending miracles.

    1. That's the biggest nastiness they perpetrate on us. Any device that costs more than $1,000 should last 30 years, not 3!
      (Love the time-transcending miracles.)

  6. I love new technology even though I will be 62 next birthday. I'm not afraid to ask for help. I have always kept up with new things. I do agree that I'm not impressed with built in obsolescence. But I've coped with Mircrosoft changing the format of all their programmes, am quite happy with Windows 8 and don't see a need for a 'start' icon. The only thing that upsets me is that living in a village only 4 miles from a major town, we haven't got fibre optic broadband and can't get a decent mobile phone signal unless we use a booster connected to our internet.