Computing and Surfing the Net Even at My Age

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/01/09/old-people-are-invading-the-internet/

That headline absolutely bugged the bejeezers out of me when I read that a few months ago.  I can’t be sure if the writer was really intrigued with the cuteness of her parents using the computer…good golly!  or if she was being facetious.

Ok.  I admit it.  I have pictures of my pre-school-age great-grand-children working on their computers.   So what if they were doing Barbie-game stuff on the screen?  The point is that these children are growing up with computers.     I also have a photo of my oldest grand-daughter, at 5 years, seated at my old Kaypro II… my first computer back in 1983.   I–who am now considered by many to be in the “old people” category–taught this child to manipulate the computer.

There is an entire manner of ingratiating and solicitous demeanor towards “old people” that is annoying and insulting.  And this is nowhere more apparent than in the “phenomenon” of the older generation moving to computers.

“OMG…you’re using the computer at your age!   Good for you.”

I always want to say to these people– “yes, and if you work at it you too may someday be 80.”

So we have been in the internet era for … what? 30 years?    There has been a healthy push toward making the students “computer literate” for a long time, and SOME schools in some areas have had computers in the classrooms for twenty years..

Right…all children do not have access to a computer.  This is a fact of life.   But when we think about a time not too long ago when some school systems found such basics as pencils and paper at a premium.   In many countries of the world, to this day, education is more of a privilege than a right.

Back to the old-timers with computers.   Cute little old guys and gals, with their walkers and canes, sidling up to their local library’s rows of computers, taking a seat and positioning their fingers on the keyboards.   Guess what…a lot of these people used to work on typewriters!   They were office secretaries and clerk-typists, who may or may not have still been at their typewriters when their companies moved to embrace new computer systems–in the same office.

People who are retired, and presumably have no need to add Computer Science to their work skills, have many individual reasons for wanting to learn to surf the internet.  Their reasons are as wide ad varied as are those of their great-grand-children, who are beginning their school careers on little pink or blue tablets on which they can reach the internet.

I personally know at least two people, adults, one 95 and the other mid-70s, who are learned, educated, active people — they just don’t want to learn to be computer literate.   They wear their “I’m Not Computer Literate and Proud” badges like service medals.   Yet these are the very people who would benefit the MOST from email or “social media,” and would absolutely be in Blue Heaven if they knew what they are missing.   I could draw up personal lists as long as my arm for them, listing specific rewards waiting for them online.

Ok, I admit it.  Mom may not have wanted a new washing machine when her old wringer washer was perfectly good.   The ice-box kept food cold enough, and there really wasn’t a lot of benefit to Grandma to get a new electric refrigerator.

Ha!  The horse was a proven entity, while the automobile was still a novelty.

Well, you get the point.  Us Old People are still able to Compute.

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11 thoughts on “Computing and Surfing the Net Even at My Age

  1. I read the link. No wonder you were annoyed. I am too. I heard yesterday some group is trying to make “hurtful speech” illegal (or something like that). If they do perhaps I should sue. Joking. But what a disgusting little know-it-all! I’m 81 and I am invading her space! But I am a crotchety old woman, who has been hiding it pretty well up to now. Two facts: I taught myself to use the internet. And I bought my own computer! I bet she didn’t do either.

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    1. yay–me too–all of the above! Where do these little snots think we have been all these years? We were “computer literate” when these people were still in diapers, or before.

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  2. Mark Twain’s immortal words spring to mind:
    ““When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
    We live and learn… 😉 Hugs!

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  3. I guess I’m what would be called a ‘young’ senior these days seeing that people live longer. I’m 61. Because of physical limitations, the computer/internet is my best way of communicating with the outside world.

    My mom is 89. She’s one of those who wear that badge of not being computer savvy. Although she has some physical limitations, she can get out more easily than I can.

    I don’t think I’d be so hooked on the cyberspace thing if I could get out more too.

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    1. I have kids almost your age…they are all five over 50…the youngest attaining so next month. Back in the day women were “old” at 30, think of the pioneer women with their hard lives. My sister-in-law is 95, and her Mom was 96 when she died…and one of her aunts was 106, and her grandmothers were 98 and 99 respectively. The major reason my SIL doesn’t do the internet is that she doesn’t want to take the time to learn the basics. She would love it if she tried…and many of the people at the retirement home where she lives are very much of the digital generation. You know they say 60 is the new 40? I am 81, but I forget that fact easily…which sometimes is not good for my poor aching back. lol

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