An interesting thing happened to me last week. For the first time ever, I participated in a on-line chat about my book, Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body which is on the United Methodist Women’s 2010 Reading Program list. The UMW hosted the chat from their office in New York while I sat at my computer in Texas. Women from across the globe were invited to participate. It was a fun event, and I enjoyed meeting the women on the screen to discuss aging and faith issues.
But I was most intrigued by e-mails I received both before and after the chat. They were from women who had wanted to participate but had been apprehensive about the on-line chat. They had been unsure of the process and chose to contact me by e-mail instead. It seemed one of those moments when age really does matter. Several of the women identified themselves by age, as if that would explain their hesitancy. These four women were ages 67 through 81. It got me to thinking.
I look at myself as compared to my young adult children, ages 26-33, and wonder how it is that they are so fearless when it comes to technology. Like the women who e-mailed me, there are times when I am fearful of doing something that might lead to corrupting or deleting my files. And my worst nightmare is having to talk to a computer service person on the telephone.
Perhaps it is as people have often said: young people today have only known life with ever-changing technology. They adapt to every new gadget and gizmo with ease while the rest of us pause and wait for reassurance. However, I know there are many Boomers and older adults who contradict the norm and jump into the technology whirlwind with both feet first. Still it’s something to think about.
There are times when one of my grown kids will sit patiently with me, teaching me the how-tos of something that is unfamiliar. It helps that they don’t roll their eyes or mock me. In fact, they are great encouragers. Isn’t that the way it should be? Sure, age matters in the way we approach technology, but for this grandmother a word of encouragement will always cross the generational divide.