Born too early, dying too early?

People often think of the elderly as clinging to the past and not being interested in anything new. Have you ever met a very old person who is excited about new technology?

I know an 85-year-old man who is very excited about Internet technology. He’s fascinated by how quickly information can be retrieved, and that it’s no longer necessary to go to the expense of printing and distributing books for some information. He sees that he can get stock market analysis information immediately that is seconds old, rather than weeks or months old. He’s fascinated and delighted by iTunes, because it can sell music to millions of people with almost no physical overhead, such as manufacturing costs, buildings, etc. This man is very excited over this technology, and he feels like he’s going to die at the most interesting time in his life.

I have a relative who worked as a research and development scientist for a large company and he spent most of his career developing digital technology. He didn’t get such good budgets, and his work wasn’t taken very seriously, because the company considered chemical processes, rather than digital processes, to be its main business. Then, about five years ago – several years after my relative retired – the company almost completely eliminated their chemical processes in favor of digital processes – exactly the technology my relative spent most of his career on. He says he feels like he had is career too early.

Do you know any very old people who are excited by the newest technology?

I’ve met a few very old people who are excited by techno-sexual aids? Most had smiles of their faces and looked quite youthful. You?

What happens when you are exited, Molly? And where have have you got your ‘techno-sexual’ idea from? And who are those people you have met?

What do you mean? And where is your corpus support for smiles of their faces?

Ralf, I don’t think we need to go that way. “Molly” was just being an idiot and trying to take the thread in a stupid direction.

Maybe I meant executed. :twisted:

Who are calling “idiot”? You ask for people to comment on something and then you want to limit the type of reply. How odd. Are you assuming old people are not adventurous is many areas of life? … derly.html … 62,00.html

At least this one looks like it might have a direction - unlike “When easier languages are harder”. :wink: You should be happy!

Hi Jamie,

Yes, I’ve met a few old people who are so excited by the newest technology. The real example is my mother. She is so proud of me when I placed our computer at home for the first time. She was also surprised how easily the computer can be used and how hard a word-processor is imagined to be. :slight_smile:

Hi Jamie

I’ve met quite a few senior citizens who either seem intimidated by high tech or seem to believe that computers and the Internet are mainly toys designed to help teenage boys waste time.

There also seem to be quite a few recent retirees who, prior to retirement, had to spend most of their time sitting at a PC. Now that they’re retired, they just don’t want to sit at a PC anymore.

On the other hand, I’ve also met quite a few seniors who have bought themselves a PC, gotten hooked up to the Internet, and have become avid users. I have an aunt and uncle who got their first PC (along with Internet access) when they were in their mid 80s. They were not intimidated, and learned quickly how to use the Internet and email. They do seem to believe, however, that spring chickens such as myself ( :lol: ) are somehow inherently more knowledgeable about high tech.

The title of this thread reminds me of the argument(s) brewing over a controversial topic:

Smoking and the cost of health care

One can surmise that a person who smokes is increasingly likely to be stricken with lung cancer, and that the treatment of that lung cancer will end up costing the taxpayers.

But I was thinking… why not think of smoking as a form of euthanasia? If it means that the average smoker dies earlier than (s)he would have had (s)he not smoked, isn’t smoking actually saving the public some money… in that the person will spend fewer years in a nursing home? (fewer years alive = fewer years in a nursing home)

Let’s say the average smoker (lung cancer or not) lives five fewer years than the average non-smoker. That’s five fewer years in a nursing home.

So I wonder if it costs the public more to keep an elderly person in a nursing home for five years, or to pick up the slack on a person’s lung cancer treatment.

I don’t mean to steer the discussion of this topic. I just wanted to share my initial association with the title of this thread.

I’ve got contact with a couple of men in their 70s and 80s who were computer programmers in the '60s and '70s, and who are adept at old-fashioned DOS-style text interfaces, but are as confused by graphical user interfaces like Windows or the Mac OS as a complete beginner would be. It’s amazing that the “easy” interface is so much harder for them than the “hard” one.

One of my friends bought her father a computer after he’d had a stroke. One of his hands had become paralyzed, and using the keyboard apparently brought a lot of his dexterity back.

I notice that there are a few hurdles many seniors have to get over when they start using their first computer. One of them is that when you tell them to point the mouse at something and click, they pick up the mouse, point it toward the screen and click while thrusting the mouse in the air toward the icon they see. People who do this have no clue about the pointer at first. Another one is that when they type they may think they have to keep hitting Enter, which they think is the “carriage return”, when they get toward the margin of a document. They have to be told that the text will wrap automatically.

One thing that amazes me is how some elderly people are so good at learning some technology and so dismal at other things. My mother could always learn the newest, most intricate photographic equipment, but she could never make sense of the buttons on a boombox. She’d teach seminars on photo technology, but she’d have to call one of us kids over to shut the cassette player off.

Like you and language learning, eh?

I wouldn’t describe myself as the specific old one or as one which is very much anxious of new technology but after some consideration … I sadly would have to admit that it suits very well Jan to be the old one and joyful of some of new innovations.I am able to see that my live has changed alot because of all of them.
So much changes every year on this field that I am simply sometimes to much traditional to accept all of them.
The digital technology is probably just at the begining, imagine what would come out in next twenty years.
Now nobody can stop this, it would be without any end.
I have read recently that new internet much more faster and much more powerful in sending data is underway to start its commercial life , we will see then.