Reflections on Aging Well

Author, Living with Purpose in a Worn-out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults (Upper Room) and Columnist, Aging Well, United Methodist Reporter

What old folks can teach us about the iPad January 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — missybu @ 1:56 pm

On the surface, it seems naive to think there’s something a 90 year-old can teach a tech-savvy young person about the new iPad. Certainly older folks are still trying to figure out what the latest electronic gotta-have is all about. Even so, seniors have some good advice for the rest of us. Here’s what a group of residents from a local senior care center shared with me. It’s something to think about. 

First, remember that today’s iPad is tomorrow’s manual typewriter. People in their 80s and 90s have already lived through more changes than you can imagine. The point is, keep a healthy perspective about technological advances, even those that are mind-boggling. The time will come when the iPad is replaced by something newer and even more amazing. The advice of older adults? Guard against thinking that you must have the latest gadget or else! 

On a related note, older adults say younger folks should buy the new iPad only if they can afford it.  Some call that old-school thinking, but it seems reasonable to actually have the money saved before pulling out the plastic. Having survived the Great Depression, seniors have a lot to teach us about doing without or making do with what you already have. Their simple advice before making a purchase? Dream about it. Work for it. Save for it. Then buy it.

Last, older folks are quick to remind younger generations that technology can never replace face-to-face relationships. Most will agree that electronic gizmos have made it easier for them to keep in contact with family members via e-mail, cell phones and such. But they are quick to point out that nothing beats a hug!


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