In this post I would like to discuss wether or not the younger generation is keen on letting the old one in on “their” new technologies. Even if the senior citizens want to use the technologies are they in some way “allowed”?
Of course this is not a question that I can give a absolute answer on. But I will tell you a story that can give a glims on how the youth reacts to an elder in their midst.
The story is this:
On august the fifth 2006, Peter Oakley a 83 year old pensioner from Leichester, England, posted his first blog on youtube
He had just become a widower and wanted , as he said in an interview commited by unruly Media (see link below), to “meet new people and find penfriends – but without disrupting his ‘reclusive life’ behind the screen.” What followed whas a youtube ‘boom’.
The uploaded video got over 400.000 views in less than a week (and is currently at almost 3 million views). On top of that he got a staggering amount of comments and mails which he one by one read and replied to, thuss resulting in new aqcuaintances and even friends.
This story shows us that the elderly are not only allowed on new technologies, but might also be embraced in doing this by the younger generations.
Of course this one testimony doesn’t mean that seniors are always admitted on every technology.
Taking for instance an example that Peter Oakley himself cited: ‘Elderly behind the wheel of a car’
As can be seen on this facebook group , or this site there is a lot of criticism on wether or not elder people are allowed to drive on the roads. This discussion, in my opinion, goes further than issues about safety because the solution often mentioned is that there should be a new driving test of some sort at the age of 70 (currently being used in the UK). What strikes me in this solution is that in every age section, there are people who drive more dangerous then the average elder, and that the lost of sight and reflexes is not something that invariatly just ‘pops up’ at the age of 70. Therefore, if your only goal was more safety,
it would be a vastly better measure to ask for a license renewal every, say, twenty years or so. The fact that this is not the case gives me the feeling that there is more going on here, that in our subconsious we just don’t like elderly to mingle with ‘our’ techology at there pace.
As you can see a conclusion is not simple to make. In some instances our senior citizens are allowed and embraced in our new technologies, but on the other hand, we can sometimes have the urge to exclude them from some technologies, especially when their interference comes at a cost to our speed and freedom. So, when we think about elderly not being capable of doing a certain job, we should always ask to ourselves if we are really just focussing on objective reasons, or if we are just scared to be held up by our elder citizens.