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Is Technology being forced onto a Generation?

We are living in a digital age where technologies are not only being designed to revolutionise the way we live, but new apps and products are being created to lure an older generation from tech phobs to tech pros.

We forget that as reluctant as some elders may be to embrace the digital age, they are actually making great use of it already.

Products as familiar as hearing aids are developing into life-changing apparatus that more and more generations are relying on. People of any age are benefiting from healthcare technology developments and engaging with them unknowingly. We want to take a look at the technologies that millennials are becoming so much more reliant on but functioned just as well 50 years back, just in a different form.

According to research conducted by the US Pew Internet research centre, 77% of older people would need someone to help walk them through the process of setting up a new device. iPads, Kindles and all manner of smart devices are supposedly designed to incorporate simplicity to avoid this kind of challenge, but are we forcing an unnecessary ‘necessity’ on unwilling people?

We have become too reliable on tech. If your computer or smart device crashed tomorrow, where would that leave you? Simplicities such as our address book, calendars and important documents would be lost in an abyss of data.

So maybe the older generation has got something right. Long gone are the days where we would have all our closest friends’ phone numbers memorised; we now find ourselves stuck when we run out of phone battery and are in desperate need to call someone.

Furthermore, mobile phones allow us to constantly connect with people leaving less room for a traditional face-to-face catch up that is, genuinely, much more enjoyable and engaging than a text message. Similarly, we no longer have to rely on time-keeping, as we can simply press a button to call our friends to find out where they are or why they are late.

Ultimately, the digital era is not only pulling us away from an older generation in terms of abilities and knowledge – How many of us have retained our knowledge of long division when we have calculators stored on our smart devices? – but it is pulling us apart in regards to convenience.

By giving your grandma a supposedly ‘simple’ device in order to FaceTime they are being pushed away from physical relationships, which are being replaced by Skype calls and emails. This may seem like a good thing, but quality time spent together can’t be substituted by a video screen.

A whole generation are having to fight to learn a new way of living, despite managing their whole lives without it, so why can’t we just leave them to it and let them get on with things their way?

 

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