Too old for tech?

A reader had this to say about smart speakers and other new home tech.

Looks Mickey Mouse and no home should not be without one. Would love to get one but as a 86 year old would find it too hard to operate may be there should be a law that people over the age of 85 should be banned from using all this new technology.”

First, I want you to know that I’m officially dumping the words “cool” and “sweet” in favor of “Mickey Mouse.” I would tend to disagree about the tech thing, though.  I feel like anyone who could handle the Depression and WWII shouldn’t be too worried about a tiny speaker. Honestly, setting this thing up was easier than attaching antenna leads to my old black and white TV and moving the antenna around. It’s way easier to use than my 8-track player and 100 times easier than changing a typewriter ribbon.


Actually, I think an Echo would be awesome for someone with some seniority in this life. At this point, I figure you deserve a break. Not only can Echo play music on demand when you ask, it can also read news headlines, send messages, make phone calls, and do things like turn the lights on and adjust the temperature. For someone with mobility issues, it could be a gigantic help. Setting up was so easy it stunned me. Using it consists of just saying “Alexa do….whatever.”

Folks who are a bit shy of smartphones might have some hesitancy about setting it up, but it would be super-easy for a friend or family member to help. In fact, I’d suggest it as a great gift if a family were to get an Echo and a couple of smart wall sockets to make life a little easier for someone who could use a little help.

Thus far in my life, it’s worked out that the older I’ve gotten the more technology I’ve been obliged to learn. I think it’s been pretty good for me. And I have to say, as the years go by, the less complicated actually using the stuff is. My phone is exponentially more powerful than the first computer I used. And seriously, once you’ve used a mimeograph machine successfully, anything should be possible. What do you guys think? Should there be a cut-off point for absorbing new tech or should we just keep trying?

6 thoughts on “Too old for tech?

  1. LOL…being a 78 year old senior I completely understand, but as they say, you snooze, you lose. We’re never too old to learn, and yes it can be daunting and a hassle but I find it’s worth it. And thankfully there is help all over if you need it.
    Go for it!

  2. I’m 72 but I pick and choose what technology I want to use. I’ve been using computers since the early 70s when I became a programmer ( the Y2K type). I got bored and moved on to other occupations, lately a medical coder-just retired. It’s become way easier to use technology now, particularly if you get a good set of instructions. I’m having a difficult time trying to decide to cut the cord on my TV service though. I’m a nerd and I don’t watch movies, drama shows or sitcoms. Its science, medicine, news, history or DIY shows for me but many of the free or low cost services don’t carry the stations I watch. Then, I have an old big flat screen TV that still works well but has no USB port. Technology upgrades are everywhere, Even my several sewing machines are computers so Its worth learning the basics. Don’t run away from technology it can help you immensely however you chose to use it. For someone who is handicapped or has mobility issues, it can truly can make your life much easier and may allow you to live independently much longer than with out it.

  3. My being an 88 yr. old Senior Citizen hasn’t prevented me from adapting to the constantly changing technology that’s appearing almost monthly. Not only with computers of course.
    My attitude has been “What can go wrong”, and I forge ahead and surprisingly nothing does go wrong. And if it does, I review the available instructions and start over again from there.Over 90% of the time I’m successful, and if not I’ll have learned somethings I hadn’t expected to that can be useful in similar circumstances.

  4. The original article is nonsense…I’m 86 and live in independent living with 2500 residents between 75 and 105. The 102 fellow just his latest book on a computer…and, while there are some holdouts, most folks here use at least a computer, an iphone, ipad, and/or adroid tablet or phone for calls, messages, email…etc.

    In other words…these are the people of WWII, who saved the world from facism, and who continue to be productive well into their later years…it’s the Great Generation and you can’t phase us out just yet. Just ’cause we can’t do things as fast as you young folks doesn’t mean we can’t do them.

    Educate yourself about old folks today…you’ll find we just may have some things to teach you…especially about your attitude towards us.

    1. Bert, I actually disagreed with the 86 year old reader who thought he was past his tech prime for the reasons you listed above 😀

  5. As a 76 year old senior I love new technology. Well, most of it. I have an Echo and a Dot. Use them both all the time. Music is the most favorite thing for me. The Dot serves as an alarm to remind me to take my medicine in the early am. I can’t afford the plugs and the thermostats, but if I could I would have them. As far as the old folks not being so tech savvy, I think it depends upon the individual. I get into lots of things, but my husband who can do mostly anything. Mostly. Jack of all trades, master of none guy. He wants nothing to do with the technology. If his iPad is hung up or isn’t working right he hands it to me with a “fix this”. There are many in our community who are really very smart when it comes to technology. We live in a 55+ community. And from what I’ve read on this forum the old folks still have it 😉.

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