This was a great article! I definitely agree that technology is rapidly advancing and increasing in cultural importance in our society, as it advances faster and further it’s causing some of our older generations to get left behind. It doesn’t help that as American’s we’ve always been a society to place heavy emphasis on material things. In the 1930’s it was all about who had the shiniest new automobile, now it’s progressed to who has the latest smartphone or other piece of advanced technology.
This article made think of a conversation that I had with my grandfather a couple summers ago when we went to visit him in his very small country town in North Carolina. My grandpa is eighty one years old but loves to fiddle with old pieces of technology, so I brought my new laptop with me to show him. My computer doubles as a tablet, the screen swivels around and lays flat on the keyboard, it’s also a touch screen and comes equipped with a stylus pen that you can use to write on it. When I first showed my computer to my grandfather he was fascinated, but then his expression gradually turned sad. I asked him what was wrong and he replied that he only just learned how to program his old VCR. I waited for him to elaborate but he simply turned around and left the room. Later I realized that my grandfather was feeling his age… here was a piece of technology so far advanced from a VCR that he was feeling it was too complex for him to ever learn to operate. I imagine it’s difficult looking at a future that you feel you’ll never be a part of.
A similar instance occurred when my mother and I upgraded to the (then brand new) iPhone 4. At the time my mom was around 49 and we had these ancient Blackberry Curves. Not a day after we got the new phones mom was frustrated and wanted to take hers back. She complained about the touch screen and how she didn’t like phones without an actual physical keypad. This ties back into the article and the idea of schema. My mother already had a schema regarding cell phones and this new iPhone with its lack of buttons did not fit into it. She had to force herself to adapt to this new piece of technology.
Because of these experiences in my own life I definitely agree with the articles premise. It is not an option to refuse change. Change is happening every day and it occurs at a rapid pace. In order to be apart of the future we must be flexible and willing to adapt to new things. However, I do not believe that the same thing will inevitably happen to me when I get older. The difference between my grandfather and I is that I was born into this age of technology, he was born in 1933. I’m used to dealing with new technology and I even get excited at the prospect of learning how to work a new gadget. As long as we keep an optimistic attitude and try not to get frustrated with the speed the world is moving in, I think we’ll all be okay in the future.
Grandpa and I!