Being that class will be focused on hardware, software, and the essentials of a computer and other technology, I thought it would be interesting to blog about an article concerning the users of these technologies. I think we have all seen our parents, and especially our grandparents, or anyone from an older generation struggle with the latest technology. We have all heard of or seen parents asking their young children for help with their phones or their computers. But how serious is this? Is it a problem? What does this mean for the current older generation?
Today, over 54% of people over the age of 65 are internet users. In 2000, only 13% of this age group used the internet. The number of older users has increased dramatically. Below is a graph that maps out the demographic of internet users today:
As you can see, as the generations become older, the percentage of users becomes much less, and quickly. Even those who are deemed to be users are not exactly experts:
This is starting to become a concern because “without Internet access, older people could feel even more cut off than many already do.” Newspapers, for instance, may no longer exist with articles on the internet becoming the new phenomenon. As the world becomes more and more connected, and the world more flat due to Globalization 3.0, the older generation is only cut off more from the rest of the world. As the book indicates, “Software is everywhere—not just in computers, but also in cell phones, cars, cameras, and many other technologies.” As technology becomes more prevalent and more complex, older generations will be left behind even more. I never truly considered the problem that this could potentially cause for this generation. While software does not have to be understood to the extent it is laid out in chapter nine, it is still imperative for the older generations to feel comfortable around technologies if they are to keep up with the rest of the world. We live in an era where technology thrives, and this cannot be ignored or under appreciated.
There are multiple organizations and programs trying to solve this problem. Examples include a “virtual senior center” and It’s Never 2 Late. These technologies attempt to educate seniors about the technological world, specifically introducing them to computers. However, “Money will be the big obstacle, of course.” These organizations will require large funds for their mission to be accomplished. However, as we discussed in class, the cheapening of technology will make this easier.
One last note…I am not advocating for the erasing of older generations’ traditions. I think they are paramount for today and for the world to come. I do think it is important for these generations to immerse themselves in the world that is technology.
What do you think?
http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/online-habits-coming-slowly-to-older-adults/?smid=tw-nytimestech&seid=auto (Here’s the Article for reference)