Anecdotally, I think people’s technical habits do solidify somewhat in their 20s. Android and iP[ao]d fanbois tend to be younger and hipper than Windoze fanbois, who were part of the initial mass movement into PC/Internet use in the 1990s. Macs always had a niche audience, which also grew a little among younger types.
I started on MS DOS and still love using a terminal. I don’t like using laptops at home. I want a proper computer with a big mess of peripherals and wires hanging out of it like a Lovecraftian horror.
I gave up trying to keep up with technology when I was 30 and one of the reasons I had kids was so I would have someone around who could show me how to make these gadgets work. I will never forget 7 years ago I got a wireless router for Christmas and truly dreaded setting it up. My then 10 yr old was so anxious for it to be working and I told him I would do it later. He walked over to me and took the box from me and in less than an hour he had the WiFi working. Doesn’t make me feel old just outdated! lol
I hated when patrons at the library who were in their late 20s or so would say “Oh, I am too old to learn this new technology!” My grandmother is 88 and uses her digital camera, uploads the pics and edits them on her computer and she has a smart phone. She doesn’t use any sort of list at all at the grocery store, though.
But some people’s brains must fix in at 25 or something.
There are older technophiles. (like myself), and younger technophobes (though those are less common). It’s not age, but intelligence and mental agility. It’s just a coincidence that many lose mental agility with age.
I can say that I am more computer savvy than most people I know, including the younger generation. Whenever one of my kids has a problem with their phone they bring it to me. I’ll get calls “Mom, is there any way to [insert idea here] on the computer?
I’m 27 years old and I still don’t feel “grown up”. My brother is 24 years old and he has just found out that his girlfriend is pregnant. I was really happy when I found out but I do not feel old enough to be having children myself even though I am three years older than him and it seems really strange that my “baby” brother is going to be a dad!
I think it’s yet another part of the desease of ageism.
There are a lot of very young people who claim ideas like: “boomers suck all our resources and should commit suicide” I’ve read so many comments like that and other horrendous concepts multiple times on money related forums, or Libertarian forums. It’s becoming a mental abberation.
I think it is not off topic to note that living in a youthful community or development where a lot of the women are in the process of childbearing and have two to three kids, HOA activities are all focused on kids and youth and sadly very few young women up to their 30’s will even talk to mature people. One becomes invisible.
When I was a young girl I never came across ageism which gives away my age!
I simply adored my grandmothers and found older people to be fascinating. They were my best and most fun people to talk to. To hear about what happened during their lives like suviving the influenza epidemic and how it effected their families and friends, losing a husband in World War I, living through the flapper ear and prohibition, living through the depression and becoming declasse, seeing their sons fight in WWII, watching the news about The Korean War, their reactions to the cold war and the duck and cover era and being alive to see us land on the moon and lived through the civil rights movement and the assasination of 2 presidents and major cultural figures.
Can you imagine? From horses and carriages to the first automobiles to late 1960’s cars and interstates. How can you not find someone like that a font of information, how an you not be glued to them and ask a million questions. How could anyone justify saing these people should committ suicide because the are a drain on our counries resources.
Today’s ageist society makes us uninteresting and I read an article in the NYT’s I believe that mentioned that young people will not stand in a line to buy something if the line contains a lot of people who are 40 or older. They don’t want to be seen with them.
As for technology. I am in my 60’s and have a few gadgets like a Kindle. My husband uses a smartphone but I’m happy with a very simple phone; we don’t have a landline. I have my laptop but my husband is the admin I’m just an end user but I came very early to the world personal computers and spoke with people using Archie and Veronica :) I have adapted as the Internet has grown and I know how to do serious research using a personal computer.
My husband does keep a grocery list on his iPone, it makes shopping much more efficient – you don’t forget anything and the list remains; you can just update it and activate those items you need, you put the item in your cart and note you’ve got it and move on. Same with perscriptions. We text with our kids, email them, talk on the phone or skipe with them and get a tour of their garden. It makes it easier when you’re separated by many mile and don’t get to really be together that often. You can look them in the eyes so to speak.
So I am not a dead stick. I use technology. I don’t write software but I am the person a lot of software is written for.
I feel sorry for young people who feel peer pressure to create such an enormous divide between generations. They are literally setting themselves up for thinking they are old long before their time. It comes of a concept that one will never age – they feel they will always be 22 forever. They won’t ever get sick or need healthcare or find themselves redundant on their jobs as the British say.
I sometimes wonder if they will deal all that well with aging. Aging can be difficult but hating yourself for turning 40 is truly mass mental abberation that literally cheats them of having a normal life, and affects everyone of us—how we are perceived and treated.
I think there are a lot of kids who think older folks “don’t know technology” because we aren’t constantly texting or surfing on our tablets. They don’t realize it’s a choice we make.
When I first hired in to my last job, my 20-something coworker was constantly trying to “explain” the internet to me. She “showed’ me how to Google! Shit, I’d been surfing the web when she was still in diapers. I remember when Google and Yahoo first debuted.
I think a lot of kids make assumptions about the knowledge and capabilities of the older generation. I know I did. And now I know how wrong and arrogant I was.