Technology requires vigilance

by Lorraine Glazier (Contributed)

Magenta_by_kckeesha The new technology is here to stay and we have minimum understanding of how it will impact our lives as we age. "The increased independence baby boomers and seniors will enjoy because of technological change is unprecedented." —Kristi Nielsen

Learning to trust the new plastic currency can create some confusion. For instance, paying the bill in a restaurant with your debit card can be an expensive exercise if we are not paying attention. Recently, a senior got a surprise when he checked his monthly bank statement. He noticed a rather large withdrawal made for a restaurant bill. A closer look revealed that when the question was asked, on the monitor, for the tip to be added to the bill, this individual keyed in his four digit pass key. This was translated into a very large amount as a tip, and withdrawn from his account. I normally leave the tip on the table for the waiter/waitress. At least I know the server has been tipped and I know what bill has been paid. The new technology requires vigilance.

Those of us who were born in the 1940s have been caught up in a time warp that has forced us to adjust to more changes than any other generation. We were the first generation to grow up with TV and moved all the way from party line phones to voice over internet, palm pilots and cell phones. For many seniors, learning the new technology is akin to learning a second language.

Some of us get stuck with different points of the new technology. We are, however, a resilient bunch that is learning the new ways and many seniors now have the computer skills to use the internet. We are becoming the "silver surfers" and proving that new interests can be cultivated at any age. We have discovered that, in the words of Stewart Brand, "once a new technology rolls over you, if you are not part of the steam roller, you become part of the pavement". I know many seniors who are productive, hard working and are still helping their kids and grand kids. We learned our lessons well … very young.

We can only speculate as to the impact technology will have on our grand kids, as they age.

Lorraine Glazier offers a unique perspective on the world from an active senior’s point of view. Her column appears regularly in the Miramichi Leader. Article reproduced by kind permission of the author and the Miramichi Leader.