Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Find a Young Person to Help You

We all bring our biases into situations. After all, we are a product of our experiences. Most of us realize that there are obviously stereotypes about older adults and their lack of technology skills. For younger generations, I can understand if they don’t question that stereotype if they have had limited experience with technologically-savvy older adults. Technology is such an integral part of young people’s identity that it usually comes naturally to them. So much of this obviously depends on their exposure to technology, but most of our schools have done a lot to ensure that students are skilled in technology.  Whenever I hear a young person assuming that older adults do not use or understand technology in their everyday lives, I try to understand where their viewpoint comes from even though I find it insulting.  As a result, I’m usually willing to overlook their bias; instead I will probably take the opportunity to educate them.

However, it irritates me when older people automatically assume that all of us need help with everyday technology. Last night I was at the Minnesota State Fair and attended a Beach Boys Concert with the Righteous Brothers as the opening act. Granted, there were a lot of gray-haired people in the audience, but I bumped up against a comment by Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers. He asked the audience to find the flashlight on their phones, but then he made the comment that we should ask a young person to help us. I know he was being funny, but REALLY?? Please don’t reinforce the stereotype that we can’t handle technology. It’s great for anyone, no matter their age, to ask for help when they need it, but let’s not define assistance by age.  We should start presenting the expectation that ALL of us are technologically skilled. This will go a long way to change viewpoints of all age levels and to help people, who are hesitant to try new things, venture out into this new realm of growth. 

It was really beautiful to see all the phones lit up during the concert so it was a fantastic idea. This was a great example of the way technology can bring you joy, but let’s leave age out of it. I hope we can all promote the use of technology for everyone. We all need more joy in our lives.

Have you found your tech joy today?


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