This forum is in permanent archive mode. Our new active community can be found here.

Elderly and Technology

I was recently reading an article that pointed out that 1985 is the demarcation birth year between people born before and after the Internet as a part of growing up. This got me to thinking, will this also mean that those born after 1985 will be the first generation to successfully integrate technology into their elderly years on a large scale?

My family is an interesting example because my dad received his bachelors in computer science in 1980 (or so) and while he is still heavily using and understanding tech well into his 70's my mother is the exact opposite and has trouble even with DVD players.

I know a lot of people view the elderly as this large unchanging blob of people that have always been old but we know that is not true and that people move between age groups (in one direction) all the time. I think that skewed view comes from advertising and demographic surveys and leads people to forget that even old people were young once.


  • I was born in '82 and brew up with the Internet.

    Being an old person is a mindset, not an age. Though, it correlates heavily with old age. There are still some number of old people that are young and young people that are old.
  • You didn't grow up with the internet as a toddler, though. That's significant. It doesn't mean you can't integrate technology into your life, but your formative years didn't include it in the way that, say, my five year old's do.

    What that means later in life, who knows, but I think it can't be dismissed. The stuff my 5 year old already knows, the confidence with which she finds out what she doesn't know, the way she can work a tablet and get down into the settings menu and monkey with stuff at FIVE is pretty impressive to me.

    I was born in 77 and still "grew up" with the internet, but not really until I was 13 or 14.
  • It's all part of the mindset. I was born in '75, I consider myself very technologically literate, and if I have any say about it I'll die with the latest tablet/smartphone/cyberware in my hand. Just because I didn't grow up tapping at a screen on an iPad or poking around at the settings on mom or dad's smartphone doesn't mean that technology is going to be any less integrated into my life as I progress into my 40's and beyond. If anything, I would say that it makes me more willing to dig around in the guts of whatever device I'm dealing with to see how it works and fix it if it breaks, whereas younger generations may have a "disposable technology" mindset and be willing to throw out their old device when it gets broken or more than a generation out of date.
  • edited September 2014
    I think I would classify my Mother as being 'young minded' then, as she picks up on computer and technology quite quickly without having a background in it, she uses an HTPC, smartphone and Kindle fine plus learned how torrents worked. She knows she can just Google for something if she gets stuck.

    Thinking about it now, I thinks he knows more than 90% of teenagers in regards to technology.

    Yet my Dad struggles with these concepts although he does dabble with tech itself on his own laptop.

    Growing up with tech doesn't mean you will be good at using it unless you are in an environment which helps you embrace it. I know so many kids in their 20s and younger who don't understand simple user interface concepts, the notion of online and offline work, what an OS is and are totally alienated when placed in a different GUI.
    Post edited by sK0pe on
  • "She knows she can just Google for something if she gets stuck."

    This is pretty much the differentiating factor for the old vs young technology divide. There is one tool that leads to all other tools to fix all other problems. If you don't understand that, you are "old".
  • edited September 2014
    Warhammer 40k has the best eldritch technology. No contest.
    Post edited by Josh Bytes on
Sign In or Register to comment.