Technology for baby boomers

Modern Technologies All Baby Boomers Should Know


My grandson recently recounted the way he studied his Torah portion for his Bar Mitzva, and he explained that his grandfather, who was his teacher, referred to the audio recordings as tapes.  “I don’t even know what that is!”, my grandson explained in his speech.  Upon hearing this, I was relieved to hear that I am not the only one in a time warp.  I am, at least, in the good company of his grandfather.  I too, sometimes refer to my audiobooks as “books on tape”, a flashback to those days when we inserted a tape cartridge into the cassette player and simply listened.  There are a myriad of ways that technology has whizzed by and left us in dust.

Recently, My husband and I rented a car to drive to Boston to visit one of our children.  We are minimally knowledgeable to comprehend that one needs a USB cable for the car to listen to music or audiobooks and in order to recharge the phone or listen to Waze and Google Maps for traffic directions.  So we threw the USB cable into my bag.  We begin driving and I search for the USB port, SHOCKER, the USB port is not in a uniform place in all cars. The good new is that today, in 2016, all cars have a USB port installed. The bad news is that, sometimes, the port is in the glove compartment, sometimes it is on the island between the two front seats, sometimes it is inside the armrest between the two front seats down in one of the corners at the bottom, and it is always snapped open and shut with a cover.  I felt that I needed an advanced degree just to hook up my phone.

Step one, it will save time: the manual.  I admit, I never read directions in the past.  Instinctively, I knew how to figure it out, it was like a puzzle.  No more, the world suddenly became more complicated to navigate in the name of “easy”.  Not only are the switches and control buttons long gone, there are now screens and lightly touch control pads.  On and off controls are too much work, touching is energy efficient and EASIER.  Yeah right.  We must take a few extra seconds to use manuals.

How am I supposed to know that the screen in this car is a touchscreen, that one must reset the car’s audio program, choose smartphone link and click Pandora?  imagesOk, here’s the thing, you have to retrain your brain to think like a young person.  We have all seen that tiny toddler in the stroller, holding it’s parent’s cell phone, swiping right and left to control the screen.  Integrate the vision, it is now you!

Those of us born during the 60’s, 50’s and earlier use a different language and internal encyclopedia of references to navigate technology.  A huge step to staying young and sharp is to be technologically current, no matter how many man hours you need to invest, how many technical support people you need to exhaust or how many Super geek You Tube videos you need to watch.  There are You Tube videos by all kinds of tech support from Tech Guru to Dolt for Dummies.  The Nike term Just Do It! is more appropriate now than ever.  Get out there and become more tech savvy, it is a prerequisite to staying young.

How can you make your personal computer more easily accessible by removing the entry password?

How can you hyperlink a word when you send an article to one of your children?

How do you download an e-book from the library?

How do you highlight a site address, copy it, paste it and send it further?

Photos? Smartphone? Laptop? Email? Don’t be discouraged, today’s tip:

At the risk of using a “s” word that I tell my grandchildren is forbidden (not sh..t) stupid, of course. Google’s real name, among us on this blog, is “Google for Stupid People,” but don’t take it personally. You can look up ANYTHING, including all the above questions, on Google and no one, but you or whoever you choose to tell, will ever know. Simply write your question and click search…I promise, you will not be the first!

1 Comment
  • Lynn S.
    Reply August 30, 2016 at 1:19 am

    These are all pearls of wisdom, Debbie. I never thought about your idea that in order to “stay young,” one should take a deep breath and learn how to navigate the technology. I haven’t been happy depending on my sons to help me with my computer dilemmas. I’m thinking that I better start teaching myself! Love this website!

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