Just because we’re old doesn’t mean we’re not into tech.
The young people today seem to believe that they have all the tech answers, but where would they be without us “boomers?” When I was young, we turned to the older generation for advice. Now we’re looked at like we’re stupid when it comes to technology.
I heard someone on a podcast talking about going over to Comcast with his father to disconnect his internet, because “he’s in his 70s, he doesn’t need the internet anymore.” What does the fact that he’s older have to do with not needing the internet? Maybe he doesn’t want or need it because he doesn’t use it. Maybe he is losing some mental capacity, maybe a lot of things, but saying that a person doesn’t need the internet because he’s older is a bunch of crock. Tech isn’t just for the young. I’m 68, do I have just two more years of internet left?
Recently, I was at an event where a piece of paper on each table had a QR code to scan. It would bring up a google docs form to fill out. Twice I was told that if I couldn’t figure it out I should “find a 20 year old to ask.” I had to bite my tongue to keep from mouthing off.
But I was nice.
A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a couple of people in the office who are in their 20s. They said something that let me think they believe younger people are way more tech savvy than older people. I let them know that I’m in my 60s and have been building computers and coding for over 35 years, way before they were born. I have a lot more experience working with tech than they do, so what makes them more tech savvy?
Back in my day
Young people today have never had to reset their winsock, or trace down an IRQ conflict, or open up their PC and flip dip switches to get something to work. They’ve never had to install and configure daughterboards so they could add more RAM to a machine. Lord help them if they had to learn DOS and enter commands. They just turn on things and they work. Wow, their knowledge amazes me.
I did all these things and tech was just a hobby for me. Others in my generation helped this young generation by making it where they don’t have to do them.
At 67 I started a web design business, South Metro Web.
It’s like when people talk about an older musician like Eric Clapton or Peter Frampton, asking if they can still play. Frampton has been playing guitar for 64 years. Wouldn’t he be better that some youngster?
The old geeks
Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple. All in my generation. Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google will both be 50 this year. Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo are in their mid 50s. Yes, there are a lot of young people with fresh ideas doing great things, and I appreciate what they’re doing, but without boomers like Vince Cerf (77), Bob Kahn (81), or Tim Berners-Lee (65), they would be on IRC and Usenet with a dial up (ask a boomer if you don’t know what those are), not Snapchat or Instagram.
I guess Vince Cerf doesn’t need the internet anymore, even though he is recognized as one of the “fathers of the internet.” After all, he’s in his 70s.
Not everyone older is tech savvy
Now I know there’s a lot of older people who are not into tech. That has nothing to do with their age. They just weren’t interested in it when it was new. Now they are being forced to learn if they want to navigate in today’s world. That may be causing some resistance.
That’s what this site is about, helping those boomers learn more about tech.
I guess it’s that attitude that we’re, as the older generation, are getting from the younger ones that causes a riff between us. I, for one, can appreciate what the youngers are doing. I hope they can appreciate what the olders have done.
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