Technology for Old People

Oct 2, 2011 | Uncategorized

I don’t want to be disparaging to old people.  I just don’t want to be one of them.   If you are reveling in being old, go for it.  I choose not be.  So here are some more irreverent ways not be old.


Please don’t run from technology.  You learned how to use a telephone answering machine and eventually you programmed a VCR didn’t you?  Today’s technology is actually easier to use than the old stuff.  Here are some techie things that make my life better:


The Digital Video Recorder means you now watch television on your own terms.  I have to laugh when someone tells me they never get to watch a certain show because it is on too late or because they aren’t home on those nights.  RECORD your favorite shows.  I have a cable box DVR and all I have to do is look at the TV schedule and click one button to automatically record a show.  You can record just that episode or the whole series.  Wondering when the new season of The Good Wife or Parenthood starts.  Don’t need to.  If you recorded the series last season, it will automatically start recording this season.  Then you can watch on your own time,  speed through commercials or go direct to the end to find out who got booted on Dancing With the Stars.  And it really is OK to dump seven episodes of a series you lost interest in long ago.


They are not called “cell phones” anymore.  Smart phones at a  minimum have your calendar, your contacts, and a call log.  Many also have “Apps” or applications — hundreds or more.  While installing an appliance at my house, a friend downloaded an app for a level.  You know, a carpenter’s level.  There was also a flashlight but I haven’t found the screwdriver yet.  There are apps to help you with your diet and exercise, shopping, recipes and on and on.  Oh, and don’t forget the camera which is now ubiquitous at any public event.  Your grandchildren are probably playing Angry Birds or other games.

Smart phone users are divided into iPhone and Droid and still a few Blackberries.  You can get these phones from any of the carriers.  There are other phones that do some of the functions of a smartphone but those are the biggies.  You do know that iPhone is an Apple Product promoted by Steve Jobs and Droid is now Google?  Blackberry is Research in Motion (RIM) but that probably isn’t important to know any more.

These are not phones you leave in your car glove compartment for emergency use.  These are important accessories to  pull out whenever you are scheduling an appointment or looking for an address. You also will use the maps to help you find where you are going.  When you become more proficient, you will find a nearby restaurant, movie times and how to get to your niece’s birthday party.  You can even find out the cheapest place to buy gas.  It is really beyond imagination what these little tools can do for you and you will wonder how you ever did with out it.

The most important reason to have this accessory is that you will not look OLD.  I am chagrined over the number of younger people who act surprised that, at my age, I would have an iPhone.

Oh and don’t forget to get a cool case for it.  You do want yours to be distinguishable.


The technology is changing so fast here that it will make your head spin.  Basically what we are talking about is a tool for reading books electronically.  Why would you want to?  How many books can you keep in your purse to take with you as you go about your daily routine.  How full is your suitcase with reading material for your vacation.  One little e reader will do the trick.  Yes, you do have to buy the books but there is new technology for borrowing library books as e readers.  You will probably really appreciate the fact that you can change the typeface to be larger and you won’t have to wear reading glasses.

You can read e books on a smart phone but I find that much too small.  You can read them on your computer or laptop but that is too heavy to take with you in your purse.  You can read ebooks on a tablet such as an iPad and there are specific e readers such as Kindle or Nook.  A tablet has a lighted background, which can be handy but I am told is also harder on your eyes.  An e reader such as Kindle uses a technology that more resembles ink on paper and is easier to read in bright daylight.

I like my Kindle because it is light weight, I can read in sunlight and it is easier on my eyes before going to sleep.  Another benefit for me is that it is only a reader.  I get distracted easily and don’t want to be checking e mail, Facebook or websurfing while I am reading.  I understand that Kindle may be adding these features and that’s a negative for me.

Of course, I also have an iPad and a laptop and an office computer and a smartphone.  You know what is really cool?   They all synchronize so that I can continue reading on my iPad a book I was reading the night before on my Kindle and be on the right page.  Is that cool, or what?  (I still say cool even though that is probably OLD)

Come on.  Try some new technology.


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