Seniors & Technology
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Seniors & Technology

Seniors & Technology

Technology is becoming more important to seniors as they use it to maintain contact with children and grand children as well as friends who may have moved away. The folks at the mobile phone company, GreatCall, has recently conducted an in-depth survey in regards to seniors’ views on technology, how it relates to their lifestyle choices, what influences their purchasing decisions and much more. I found it fascxinating, I hope you will too.

Seniors' Attitudes Towards Technology [Infographic]

Bob Benedetti

<p>Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal</p>

  • Michael Black

    But so much of what we see represents “seniors” as coming late to technology, as if it’s something taken up in their “golden years”.

    I was fifteen when the Altair 8800 came out in 1975, I’ll turn 55 later this year, which seems to count as “senior” by some definitions. I couldn’t afford a computer that year, the people who could were generally at least a few years older, and more likely “quite older”. It was the people in their 20s and 30s who were rushing out, and being part of the garage era of computers. Add forty years (the Altair was on the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, but like most magazines, the issue came out before the cover date) and you get those seniors in their 60s and 70s now.

    I did get my first computer in 1979, and there hasn’t been a time since then that I’ve not had a computer. I’ve known about computer networking since 1978, the early BBSs being written about that year. Yes, those who had computers early on are a small number compared to all those who came later, but the computers have been around long enough that people who were involved then have gotten “old”.

    And even people who didn’t get in early have still had decades to get used to technology.
    Either as a job, or for personal reasons, or even taking it up at retirement, which could be decades ago.

    The portrayal has seniors as luddites, unwilling to adjust to the new, yet for many they were there all along. And probably technology is a rolling out, rather than an abrupt move. Kids today grow up with it, but if you have a decent camera, you may rush out early to get a digital one, or decide to wait. That’s not resistance to technology, it’s spending money wisely, making use what you have until prices of the new drops down.

    And just because the kids use technology doesn’t mean they have something substantial to say about it, they are generally followers, while those of us who came earlier at least tried to define things.

    I’ve always picked and choosed. I’ve never run WIndows, I wanted to run Unix in 1981 but the cost was beyond me. I haven’t bought a new computer since1989, after that buying used saved money but still got a decent set of specs.I didn’t get a CD player until 1997, not interested in spending the money on CDs. Though, I got a DVD player in 2003, because I was so impressed with CDs once I finally got a CD player. And then in starting to buy DVDs, I saw VHS movie prices going way down, so I got my first VCR in 2004 (I had other interests before that to spend money on a VCR), buying at a garage sale, $20 in a box with remote and the manual. I’d prefer movies on DVD, but at 25 or 50 cents, I’ll grab VHS movies. I’ve had a digital camera for a decade, the first one a hand me down that was fine for my initial use, and I actually use it more than my old 35mm viewfinder camera. I wanted to be online 30 years ago, but couldn’t justify the money, having internet access since 1996 I guess means not being fully ahead 0f the pack, but still being before many. I still have my turntable, and records, but I have an MP3 player, and still buy music on CD. I run Linux, but have no real need for it, I do it because it’s not difficult.

    Scratch an 80 year old, and they’ve had forty years, half their life, to adapt to some of the “new technology”. There will be people like my mother who fit the stereotype, but there are plenty of others who have had contact with the technology before they got old.


    May 6, 2014 at 12:57 am Reply
  • Bob Benedetti

    Thank you for sharing this interesting story.

    May 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm Reply

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