General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Why are some people -- often older people -- reluctant to try to keep up with new technology?

Asked by wundayatta (58638points) October 19th, 2010

I’m 54 and I know a number of people my age and older who actively resist getting facebook accounts or engaging in social networking. They’ll use Google, but that’s about it.

There is also a reluctance to get on the bandwagon with new technology in other areas. There are parents who have no idea how to program the TV. More elderly people who are afraid to even touch a computer lest they break it. I could come up with more examples, but I hope this makes the point.

What do you think is going on here? Is it a function of age? Do you know young people who resist online social networking? Is it a fear of learning, or fear that they can’t learn? Is it just resistance to change? Is there some deeper trend going on here? Perhaps an issue of a way of life?

Whatever you think it is, please explain why and use more examples from your own experience if you have any.

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55 Answers

anartist's avatar

There comes a point where many older people just say “I quit!” With my parents, it was programming VCRs—so we got them a combo TY/player and sent them movies.

However, people whose work is affected by technology tend to stay savvy much longer. I know someone in her late eighties who still keeps up with it all, and her husband does too; he is her prime IT and communications manager. But they both have had high-technology careers.

BTW @wundayatta I am older than you and I am always learning new techno stuff and even learning things like lolspeak and leet just out of sheer curiosity.

My career has straddled the arts and high tech for a long time. I notice some of my peers, the ones who were more “arty” have always resisted the tech [fighting email, for existence] while others embrace it. There are a lot of us out there on Facebook and LinkedIn especially as retirement looms for so many who feel unprepared to retire. You are seeing the “graying of Facebook”.

adambate's avatar

I believe it has to do with learning (or the fear of), and with their environment – specifically not seeing the benefits of it in their life.

I have a good friend who’s father is someone that you describe above as being reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. Although, he works in a factory and has for the majority of his life. He doesn’t see the benefit of it all to him – and how it would enhance his life. For this reason, he doesn’t want to invest the time it takes to learn it.

On the other hand, my grandmother has a facebook account and actively submerges herself in technology. She had no interest in any of it until family took the time to explain the benefits and help her learn how to use it.

I think that if anyone could see the benefit of technology in their lives and how it could impact them in a positive way, they would be more likely to jump on that bandwagon and take the time to learn it.

iamthemob's avatar

It’s all too fast. Before a certain generation, people were used to using something for a while before it was deemed obsolete. Now, it’s obsolete almost before you purchase it. It’s understandable how, after a certain age and having lived at a time where things had a use for a while, you are inclined to give up – life’s too short, after all.

perg's avatar

Maybe it’s because they’ve lived Xnum years without “needing” this stuff and they don’t feel the need for it now. I am about @wundayatta‘s age and I’m open to any new technology that’s useful to me. Love my computer and the resources it provides, especially e-mail – been using laptops to file stories and messages remotely since Radio Shack put out the TRS-80 in the mid 1980s. But I don’t have any use for a smartphone except as a novelty. I use my cellphone for phone calls and the occasional text (I only got a text plan about a year ago). It’s not that I’m afraid of it, don’t understand it, find it too fast or am otherwise cowed. I just don’t see how it enriches my life to be able to check Facebook or the game scores or my e-mail from my telephone instead of waiting until I get home.

Austinlad's avatar

I’m an older cowboy, but I keep pushing myself to stay up with technology—not only because it’s the industry I work in, but also because I love it. In fact, I provide unofficial tech support for friends and associates at work. I confess, though, it’s not as easy to master stuff up as it used to be, mainly because it seems to me that products keep getting more complicated and feature-bloated.

Coloma's avatar

I resisted getting a facebook acct. for along time, then finally opened one last year for about 6 months.

Meh…lost interest in the mundane communications and think it rediculous to have 777 ‘friends.’ lol

I just hid my profile recently as I have not been there in 6 months or more.

I don’t think it has as much to do with fearing technology as it does that as humans we do not need to be plugged in 100% of our lives.

I love my laptop, but I don;t carry a cell phone, and don’t want to trackable every moment of my life. haha

I think there is a big dif. between fearing and resisting and moderation of devices.

I just don’t need to be on the cutting edge of all the latest and greatest, not that important to me.

gailcalled's avatar

Terror, I believe. My best friend, who is ten years younger than I, is scared. He is now mentoring a fifth grader who is going to try to teach him some elementary computer skills.

When I took my first baby step, I was very nervous, just as I was when first learning algebra, Latin, income taxes, roof repairing and Milo maintenance.

Like many others here, I am now confident of my skills. But I see no reason to relearn every gadget every two weeks.

I use a plain vanilla cell phone for power outages, car emergencies and occasional calls from the road.

rts486's avatar

I keep up with new technology and use it when it suites my needs. When it doesn’t, I ignore it. New isn’t always better. I don’t have a facebook account because I don’t need one. I have no desire to put all that information about myself out there. My friends don’t have social networking accounts either because they don’t need them.

I have the best laptop money can buy, because it satisfies my needs. I can, and have, programmed VCR/DVD players, but I haven’t programmed my current blue ray player because I don’t need it programmed.

I am very adept at setting up and using satellite communications system in third world countries, because there have been time when I had to know how to do this, but my cell phone is the cheapest Nokia you can buy, the type they give away, because I don’t need anything more.

When I travel I use a Kindle to read books because I don’t like carrying several books. But when I’m home I read regular books because that is easier.

It’s not a matter of being afraid of new technology; it’s a lack of need for it.

CMaz's avatar

Because we become wise enough and secure enough to truly understand the saying…

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!”

john65pennington's avatar

I am the exception. i have cellphones, i have a computer, i can program my Samsung HD televisions, i scan through all the websites, i can even tie my shoes. i am 66 and not over the hill…....yet.

I understand where you are coming from and i agree. most seniors avoid pcs and cellphones like the plague. it’s not the item itself, it’s their lack of capability to learn, to some degree.

MissPoovey's avatar

I do not believe fear has anything to do with it. Unless its fear of breaking an expensive object. The (we) older ppl started out with outdoor toilets and have seen amazing innovations over the years. So never let the word ‘fear’ into your conversation. “We” have been the least fearful of all.
I think it has to do with money, time and energy. Some of us are just too tired to learn it, or lack of time.
And I believe some of the reason has to do with vision. Computers and phones and remotes are all hard to read. My bifocals are not a good fit for the screens.
JMO

Ivy's avatar

I think it’s a matter of interests and values. Older women, for instance, keep the sales of real books and libraries alive because we’re of a generation that reads for pleasure and we’ve been doing it for decades without technology. I’ve checked out Facebook and MySpace, and as far as I can tell, it breeds self-obsession and narcissism and is, as a whole, worthless with announcements of people’s daily “homicidal bitchin’” because it doesn’t take anything but the push of a button to gain a ‘friend’. But when you read literature, you know words have definition, and a friend is a relationship that requires more than being added to someone’s internet social circle. I prefer to be outdoors gardening or hiking or just sitting, aware of my surroundings and who and what I share it with, rather than ‘plugged in’ to some kind of technology. It’s not because I’m afraid of technology. As a matter of fact, I’d turn this around and say that those who have to have a piece of plastic that plugs them into something just to go outside, are the ones that are afraid.

perg's avatar

@Ivy GA, especially on “friends” vs. friends. As highly as I regard some of my FB buddies, I KNOW they are not really friends with 500 or more people.

Coloma's avatar

@Ivy
@perg

I agree, well said both of you, especially those that cannot sit in nature without being plugged in. lol

I live on property in the Sierra Nevada foothills and while I like my computer, dvd player etc. my greatest joy is communing with nature and listening to the sounds of silence.

I am hardly over the hill at almost 51 but I AM a bohemian type at heart and would much rather be gardening or writing or creating that hooked up to the IV of technology every waking moment.

Thoreau me! :-)

talljasperman's avatar

we need techno-diversity like we need bio-diversity… for the survival of the human race… just in case something bad happens to the rest of us.

Ivy's avatar

@talljasperman Yes, diversity in all things. I’m not ‘techno literate’ but I can grow and preserve food. I’m curious though, if it comes to basic survival (and all the changes that brings to societies and individuals), how will techno-diversity help in the survival of the human race?

talljasperman's avatar

@Ivy because if Facebook turns everyone into zombies from a hypnotic code or something… some non-Facebook users will still be alive to fight the leader Zuckerberg… and they will know how to survive without Facebook and the human race will continue..just as an example…I lost some friends to Facebook… and they aren’t much better than zombies…right now we are the earths few hopes for survival saying technology goes awry.

Coloma's avatar

@talljasperman

LOL

Yes, I found out recently that my local fairgrounds is the evacuation zone for the valley residents should some sort of mass crisis occur.

Well..guess I can set up a refuge camp on my property, but, don’t expect cell reception in my canyon! hahaha

Ivy's avatar

@talljasperman ~ “right now we are the earths few hopes for survival saying technology goes awry.” Whoo boy then, eat, drink and be merry ..!

@ Coloma I recently pointed out to a group of gun toting, cammie wearing survivalists that a solar water distiller might be a better idea than all their military equipment and costumes. :)

Coloma's avatar

@Ivy

Aaah, such good humor, I love it!

Yep, I get a kick watching a couple of neighbors right now parading around in their great white hunter getups and rifles out to bag turkeys.

They walk past my yard and all the Turkeys are napping on my lawn behind a closed gate and sharing breakfast with my geese, and NO…you cannot hunt on my property!

Turkey mockery rocks! lol

Ivy's avatar

@Coloma Ah, the hunters. They’ve descended here too and our only local convenience store and two liquor stores:) are about to make what keeps them going the rest of the year. The rest of us just stay out of the high country now ~ it would just be ‘common’ to get shot by a drunk hunter after what Dick Cheney did:).

poisonedantidote's avatar

I believe so. but its not just limited to old people. i my self have experienced the feeling of not being bothered to learn.

Humans like a certain amount of reward for a certain amount of invested effort. if 5 of you spend a week out in the woods looking for food, you at least expect to come back with a buffalo. if all you come back with is 2 rabbits then chances are you will never go back to hunt in that area again.

For example, im only 27, and a couple of years ago i learned a programming language called action script 2. it took quite a bit of time to learn. as soon as i had learned it, action script 3 was released, and it was nothing like action script 2. and i found my self in a position where i had invested a fair bit of time and not got all i wanted out of it, so when action script 3 came out, part of me did not want to have to deal with it.

Also, as you get older you get set in your ways. you know how to live your life, you know how to do and get what you want. and new ways of getting what you want are not always seen as worth it, if the invested time to learn it is greater than the rewards that method offers.

Personally, i imagine the future will look quite differently. you will probably find that in 40 to 50 years time, computing will be advancing so fast, that only gifted people in their early 20’s will work in it. usually quitting the business by the time they are 30 or 35.

It is true that older people have a harder time learning, but i suspect its not because of dead brain cells so much as it is lack of effort. the amount your learning capability is damaged by old age is probably marginal compared to the resistence to learning that we develop.

Coloma's avatar

@poisonedantidote

I agree, but I also think it is possible to simply make a choice to not stay on top of every new gadget, program, be a slave to the latest and greatest mentality.

I simply do not NEED to be uber informed and tech savvy, and it has nothing to do with lack of inteligence or a slowing brain, it has to do with preferring to lead a simpler life.

The old ‘less is more’ mantra does bear a lot of truth. :-)

Coloma's avatar

Hahaha..‘inteligent’...I caught that but was too late to edit! haha

“Intelligent”

See, I can spell, blame on my slightly dyslexic moments.

YARNLADY's avatar

Personally, I find that most new technology isn’t really worth the trouble. Also, I never have had the basic ability to handle any technology, not just new, and not just since I got old.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

Disc2021's avatar

Well, resisting Facebook is one thing…

My mom is technophobic – I dont know how many times my Dad and I have tried to explain the concept of E-mail to her, and she probably still wouldn’t know how to turn a computer on if she tried. She’s recently just gotten into “Text-messaging”, which surprises me.

Her answer is that she just see the need or the purpose. She grew up in a different time, when, instead of “E-mailing” someone to communicate, you simply just called them or wrote them a letter. Instead of using a computer to write things, you used pen-and-paper. There are people that just haven’t broken out of that and dont have the will to learn all of our new fancy technology.

I love and hate this mentality. On one end, I think technology is decreasing our interpersonal skills, as a race. You’d be surprised how many people cannot physically/verbally communicate their true feelings face-to-face, or even initiate a face-to-face talk with another person. Maybe I’m too young to really have a valuable observation on this, but the general census seems to be that this is all impacted by our rapid technological advancements. One of the reasons I got rid of my Facebook account was because it made my friends too easily accessible online, and therefore that’s where I went to speak to them rather than in person or over the phone.

Don’t get me wrong, I think our technology is great. I’m all about Cell phones, Text-Messaging, E-mail, the internet (I probably wouldn’t be on this site if I weren’t). However, sometimes I feel like it takes away from our interpersonal skills, which I think are important in a society such as ours. I miss the old days when friends would call “Just to chat”.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s where I, the graybeard in this crowd, benefit.

1) I pay most bills either by EFT or on my credit card using the computer.

2) I check my financial holdings regularly and the state of my check book, online.

3) I shop for most things on line.

4) I trade photos with members of the family who are not in my neighborhood.

5) Milo gets regular pep talks from his vet, on line.

6) I do research; verify spelling, grammar, usage and vocabulary; visit museums, exotic cities and scenic wonders; check out the French subjunctive; get tips on washing windows, cleaning mildew on decks, and car maintenance; learn about gardening in my area; and find recipes.

I do not use the computer as a replacement for friendship, socializing, phone calls, lunch in town, movies, concerts, social outreach, and hanging out on Main Street.

GingerMinx's avatar

There is no learning involved in social networking, it is merely an extremely invasive annoying addition to the internet. Please do not assume that because I choose to ignore it and other sites like it that I have a fear or lack of understanding of technology. I am 48 and taken many computer courses, I regularly use a computer everyday and in fact work from home via my computer. I have also made several different web sites and belong to several forums. There is a specific funded group that started in my area and has expanded that teaches computer skills to the elderly, it is always booked solid. I am not sure your assumptions are correct. Oh and sometime spoeple rely too much on technology. After the recent 7.1 earthquake here we tuned into our local radio station for advice and guess what it was? A website address to check out online. It was great, if you actually had power which many people, including us, did not have for several days.

wundayatta's avatar

I never texted. I had no one to text to and I couldn’t imagine a situation where it would be useful. Also, we, as a family, did not see it important to get anything more than the most basic phone. Our use of phones was purely for emergencies. I had a plan that offered 60 minutes per month, and I ran out of minutes about three times in six years.

When the smart phones first came out—it seemed to be just Apple and AT&T and I use T-Mobile. I’d go into T-Mobile stores from time to time, and the number of phones was completely overwhelming. There were fifty or sixty phones, and I didn’t know the difference between a one of them. Why Blackberry? What’s a Sidekick? What’s a Smartphone.

Eventually, my old phone of six years started seriously dying and I had to get something new. I went into the store seriously, and asked people to explain to me the differences. I got to know the plans and understand what they covered. Also, I started working on my wife to get her approval to get a smartphone. Weirdly, she connected it with our Triple Play bill. I got them to cut our bill by $40 per month, and she decided that we could raise the cost of my plan by the same amount.

I got a smartphone. Android OS. I had no idea what an app was before. FInally I realized it’s a program aka software, only because it’s a phone, it has to be called an app. Go figure.

I knew my phone would be a camera and a video camera as well as a phone. I had no idea how many other things it was. It turned out I don’t have to buy a GPS system, because it does that. It finds routes, tells me what the traffic is like, and has a little lady in there who will give me directions turn by turn if I want.

It gives me email. To as many accounts as I want. It links to my gmail contact list and calendar. I can update those things on the computer and the changes appear instantly on my phone. It’s an internet browser… more on how useful that is later. It does messaging. It has maps (separate from navigation). It will hold all my music and play it, too.

Then it gets even cooler. There are some tools I’ve been dying to have for years, and my phone has many of them. I downloaded a tape recorder, and now I can record all my gigs. I downloaded a shopping list program, and now I can just check off what I need to get, and then check it off again when I get it. No more laboriously hand written lists that usually have much of the same thing each week.

And now fluther enters the picture. Someone asked what apps people used, and someone else said they had a tuner. OMG! I can not tell you how helpful it is to have a tuner with me at all times. My band leader hasn’t yelled at me in months now because I am no longer out of tune.

And back to the internet. I’ve been telling my wife, time and again, that if we had a phone with internet access (didn’t know they were smart phones), then we could research this or that at exactly the moment we needed it. Now she sees. We needed a furniture store. On the highway, we searched and found one right on the highway we were on, and it was perfect.

We’ve found restaurants, clicked on the phone numbers and called for reservations. I don’t know how many other things we’ve needed to know and how much time we’ve saved by being able to find out the answers on the road as quickly as we could on the home computers.

I also never knew what the difference between 3G, wifi and whatever else they have. I still don’t really know, but I can tell when it switches and how the speed increases, so I’m guessing that wifi is the best.

The smartphone replaces so many other tools. And it’s all in one little gadget that fits in my pocket. I wish I could have had one sooner. I wish the rest of my family could have them, but my wife is resisting. She should have one, too, but she doesn’t get it. My kids are dying for them, but it’s not their turn, first. My youngest doesn’t have a phone and won’t get one until he’s 12. Two more years. Although perhaps we’ll break down, because I think he should have one. It does too much.

I should probably put recipes on the phone. I’m sure I can think of other things that would be useful. I don’t use games, but there is a lot of stuff that’s useful for what I do. I can even fluther and Facebook and check on the Phillies :( and God knows what else.

People don’t want to use technology—for many of the reasons you’ve mentioned, I guess. I think they either don’t think the tech will help them or they are afraid they can’t learn it or it will take too much time to learn it. I hope to keep up with the latest technology for the rest of my life—if its useful to me. I imagine a day when my phone/computer/apps will be built into my clothing. I’ll be wired in as soon as I dress. Every piece of fabric in the house could be an everything device. I won’t have to type any more unless I want to. The phones already have voice recognition which does a decent, though limited job. Some day, it will recognize everyone’s voice with no training. I hope. Either that, or the training will be automatic.

I don’t mean to be a phone salesman. But I am just so happy about joining this world.

YARNLADY's avatar

@wundayatta Many of the things you have mentioned are why I’m glad my husband’s company supplies him with a Blackberry. He sends me pictures of items in the store when he is shopping to see if I want him to buy. His finds restaurants and alternative routes when we are on vacation, and takes pictures and videos of our trips. I don’t have or want one.

I once used my phone to find out why the freeway traffic was stopped on a trip where I was alone with one of my grandsons. I used text because it was free, and discovered we would be stopped for up to two hours. I pulled off to the side, and grandson took a nap while I worked on a needlepoint project. Sure enough, two and a half hours later, traffic started moving again. It was especially frustrating because we were only a half hour from our hotel for the night.

jerv's avatar

I have found that many older people, even those who are still quite intelligent, and tech-savvy (at least with older tech) who resist technology due to the lack of mental agility that often comes with age. There are enough exceptions that that is more of a guideline than a rule though; some older people take to new tech just as easily as younger folks.

@wundayatta I love my Droid X for pretty much tat reason; it’s a multi-function tool. Many older folks seem to think a cellphone is nothing more than a phone and shun them since they like to be able to get away from phones when they don’t want to be reached. Many don’t seem to care about the music, pictures, GPS, e-mail, or other things that you can do with it, if for no reason than it’s a different way to do things than they have done them for decades (cassette tapes, photo albums, folded maps, stamped envelopes…) and they are set in their ways.

nebule's avatar

For some people it seems like a tacit statement that they’re better than you because they don’t need all this technology…that’s what gripes me. I don’t mind if the older generation don’t want to be involved in technology for whatever reason but there has to be respect for both.

My landlord doesn’t ‘do’ text’s or emails in fact it seems he doesn’t do much because my boiler has been broken now for weeks. I’ve spoken to him about it and phoned him and he’s said he would sort it out. Yesterday I sent him a text reminding him about the boiler and didn’t receive anything back…I didn’t expect a text but a phone call wouldn’t have gone amiss. I don’t see why I should waste my phone bill (which is expensive during the times I can contact him) on trying to get in touch with him about a problem that should have already been sorted out.

I know when he does eventually get back to me he will use the excuse…‘I don’t do texts…they’re just not my thing’. It’s not the point…if you’re not going to keep up with the speed and technology of the world then at least have the decency to keep up your side of the bargain and show the techies..that in fact you are better off not worse.

rant over. and breathe

That said I fully respect anyone’s desire not to get involved in technology :-p

jerv's avatar

@nebule I am a tech-geek and I don’t do texts either, so you have to make the distinction between a reluctance to embrace technology, personal preference, and (in your landlords case) plain old laziness.

perg's avatar

@nebule Interesting – my read on some of the other posts is a tacit and sometimes even explicit statement that older people are not smart or brave enough to handle new technology, and that is what gripes me. I find neither that nor superiority of the luddite to be accurate – so yes, some respect all around would be nice.

Your problem with the landlord doesn’t seem to have anything to do with technology (in fact, I’m not sure why you bothered texting him when he said he doesn’t use texting). He’s an asshole whether he gears up or not. So I don’t understand what point you’re making by bringing him into it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because they are smart enough to let others be bleeding edge and cutting edge pilot users.

They decide to buy their blu-ray player when the time is right. Instead of throwing away a very expensive hd-dvd player and then get a blu-ray player.

And they want to save a lot of money. Do we really need the very first iPhone? Why not wait for the second one?

Coloma's avatar

@mattbrowne

I agree, the constant ‘new and improved’ versions of everything are designed to keep the consumerism wheel spinning and drawing in those that are vulnerable to being on the cutting edge of technology, when, in reality, a lot of the time they really are motivated by being seen on the cutting edge of coolness.

Ego spends a lot of money to prop itself up. lol

jerv's avatar

@mattbrowne I don’t consider tech that has been in widespread use for a few years and dropped in price to the point of becoming a commodity to be “cutting edge”. Cellphones are practically free, DVD burners are $20 instead of $2,000 , and computers can be had for a song (for a basic one at least), so I don’t buy that.

perg's avatar

@jerv That’s hardly what @mattbrowne was saying, was it? He’s not talking about common tech, he’s talking about “the very first” version of things. If you’re going to have the debate, try to do it fairly.

mattbrowne's avatar

My point was that on average, the older people get, the longer the “observation” period before a “getting involved” period lasts. There are some interesting studies about the world wide web reaching reluctant users in the 1997–2000 time frame. In one study the conclusion was that it needed some kind of “killer application”, which very often was a special interest or hobby. People couldn’t believe at first what the web could really do. You are sure that I can find the current value of all the stamps I’m collecting or interested in buying? Really? So even before they considered doing something like online banking, it was websites like http://www.findyourstampsvalue.com that made people so curious, they had to try it out.

So like VHS or CDs or cell phones or blu-ray some people just wait and observe the world around them for quite a while. They need to be convinced that the time is right to get involved. Or whether it even made sense. Some things don’t make sense to them at all.

Even today in most business meetings, I prefer a pen and my old-fashioned notebook, because I’m convinced it’s more efficient than a PDA in most cases and also less distracting. But when I need to look up a name or phone number it totally makes sense.

I still don’t have blu-ray, but I know I will get one at some point. On the other hand, I bought a linguistic software that converts written text into speech. I can listen to documents during my commutes. I wonder how many people have thought about that. At our company I was one of the first to set up a CERN web server and get an intranet started which soon also needed intranet search. It really depends on the use cases (both at work or at home) and every individual is different. If people don’t need a cell phone, why buy one? If people don’t see the value in converting text to speech, why get such a software?

jerv's avatar

@perg @mattbrowne My point is that I know people who have an observation period measured in decades. I don’t trust first versions of anything either, but I find that they usually get things right by the fifth generation and almost always by the tenth, yet some people are still observing after that much time and maturation. It’s not always that they aren’t interested either.

perg's avatar

@jerv OK, so you know SOME people who feel that way. That doesn’t mean all, most or even many older people feel that way. Speaking as an older person – with a 90-year-old mom who’s fully wired – I buy what I will use and use it until it doesn’t work for me any more. That may be years, it may be a week. It’s got nothing to do with fear of or confusion about technology. I was shopping smartphones just yesterday, but don’t expect to buy one for another couple of years because I won’t need one before then. That’s an attitude about spending wisely, not about avoiding the unfamiliar.

Coloma's avatar

A good example of technology is all the ‘features’ one’s car key sensors have this past decade and a half or so on new vehicles.

Holy F—K!

My sensor was so sensitive that my trunk would randomly open just from my keys being jostled in my purse or pocket.

False alarms galore and once, while in the middle of a car wash the bells started ringing and ‘alerting’ me that my trunk was ‘ajar.’

Really?

It was far more than ‘ajar’ it was wide open in the middle of the wash cycle from, most likey, barely nudging my keyring with my knee in the middle of the carwash!

I call FOUL! lol

If you’re gong to go to all the troulbe to implement a ‘trunk ajar’ feature, why the hell not implement a ’ trunk wide open and filling up with water now’ feature? haha

Yep, took care of that little techno glitch..disengaged the batteries and now I open my car the old fashioned way, with the KEY! lol

nebule's avatar

@perg it takes no more mental or physical effort to click on the yes button to read a text as it does to answer a call. I don’t expect him to text back… a call would be nice; which he is capable of doing. I’m sorry you can’t see my point…perhaps courtesy doesn’t come into it huh? perhaps all the responsibility should be on the ones ‘in the know?... whilst the rest remain blissfully ignorant and void of responsibility? silly me. p.s my reasons for sending the ‘text’ were explained in my previous post

perg's avatar

@nebule You are still veering off-topic, in fact, further than before. Your landlord is just being a jerk – he’s ignoring you, period, no matter how you try to contact him. That neither proves nor disproves whether or why older people “avoid” technology.

nebule's avatar

I shall leave then

YARNLADY's avatar

Part of my objection is the unnecessary expense involved. I am a very frugal person and I hate to buy things at the full retail price. Nearly every advance I have gotten is a hand me down from another family member, or a close out sale at the retail shop.

jerv's avatar

@YARNLADY I have only bought three of my many computers new; I built the rest from stuff salvaged from the recycling bin at the dump or got them as hand-me-downs from a gamer friend who had to be on the cutting edge. (The other three were on sale at a considerable discount.) My first cellphones was given to me, and my third was free with the service contract.

It is possible to remain current (though not cutting edge) for less than you would think. One of the reasons I chose the desktop computer I have now is that it has an upgrade path; I could more than double it’s speed right now by buying a new CPU chip for half of what a new computer would cost, and by the time it gets relatively slow (compared to what else is on the market) that upgrade chip will be even cheaper. So I have a computer that is modestly priced and pretty fast now, and I won’t have to totally replace it in a couple of years.
Now, my smartphone was a splurge (actually, an early birthday gift from my loving wife, who knows how much I love shiny objects) but even I regard it as a luxury. I could’ve done just fine with the cellphone I got for free with my contract, just as I didn’t absolutely need a laptop (last year’s birthday gift from the wife. gawd, that woman spoils me!) so sometimes the fact that it isn’t really necessary makes it all the more special.

@perg My parents are a good example. Sure, they will shop around a bit on the best price for their yearly vacation to Europe, but they are no stranger to dropping a few hundred dollars on impulse buys either. It took them a decade of complaining about the space taken up by their VHS tapes before they finally got a DVD player (long after they hit their current price) and I’ve been listening to them complain about how slow their decade-old PC is but they haven’t bothered to replace it (though they have replaced the monitor with a bigger one a few times, the last one costing more than my current-generation computer) so, based on personal observations/experience, I think that it’s safe to say that there are many possible reasons beyond money or technophobia.

Patamomma's avatar

I’m 37, not so old, but old enough to not give a crap about myspace, but signed up to facebook and got hooked on the games for awhile. Love to digital scrapbook and “play” with pictures so I will learn lots of new things when it comes to that. I don’t know half of what my cell will do because I don’t want to be on it all the time. Twitter and it’s purpose escapes me. I did sign up to check it out though. I guess what I would say is that if it’s something I want to learn, I will kill myself to learn it. Sometimes I will learn it just to help out a friend, but if I see it as pointless to my current situation, then I ignore it and leave it to the younger geekier crowd…lol.

YARNLADY's avatar

My Father-In-Law prided himself on being able to keep up. He had all the latest equipment and went to community college classes to find out how to use it. He went by the screen name cybergramps and was proud of it. You should have seen this 80 year old man in class with the kids.

gailcalled's avatar

One more thought from the geriatric claque:

I get announcements from my volunteer groups, local cultural events, tidbits from the local politicos,and several quick notes daily from my sister (when we’re too busy to have long conversations).

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Age doesn’t really matter. Isn’t it all about personal preference and lifestyle? Our 85 year old mother loves old movies, so she owns a better DVD player and has a large screen that rivals anyone else’s in the family. She has no interest in a cell phone as she no longer works or drives. Her computer, however, is her pet. She loves staying in contact with old friends and family, manages all of her finances online, and likes to play CDs on it.

perg's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thank you. Precisely. Anybody confronted with something unfamiliar and complex (or that appears to be complex) is going to hesitate. If they have a reason, they’ll learn about it. If they don’t, they won’t. Simple as that.

sweetsun's avatar

Because they are in there confort zone, but when they finally try it they love it.

Gabby101's avatar

First of all, I think the “loss of mental agility” type statements being applied to older people are hilarious. I’m 47 and work with mostly people age 35 and younger and let me tell you, the majority of those folks have serious “agility” issues. They can’t remember something that happened a couple of weeks ago – I am constantly “helping” them with their memories.

Second of all, I think if you get too far behind on technology, it is harder and more embarrassing to catch up. We hired someone who was not very familiar with computers, but who we felt had good aptitude and we wanted to give her kind of a second chance at a career (she is in her 50’s, went to college, but never got a “professional” job). It was very, very slow going. Many of the things that come second nature to most computer users, were just being learned by here – the box with the X closes the window in almost every program– right click to learn more – control C to copy – how to use a mouse. It’s like learning how to walk – it’s so second nature to us, not sure if we could easily describe to someone how to do it. Now she is doing fine, but she did have to put up with people openly acting surprised that she didn’t know how to do something that they considered simple and the embarrassment that went with that.

There are some new “technologies” that I am not that interested in, but I force myself to take a look at them, so at least I know what people are talking about. If you don’t do this, you will miss out and also feel left out. Sometimes, the more time I spend with them, the more I grow to like them. I wasn’t that interested in Facebook at first, but after a while, I learned what works for me and now I actually enjoy it. The problem is, all the new technologies get high adoption from all the teenagers and all the publicity tends to be around how they are using it, which typically only works if you are a teenager and sounds stupid to most everyone else (get 500 friends and post every hour whether you have anything to say or not).

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