Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Boomers and technology

Baby boomers love their technology. Even seniors today are getting hooked on technology. My 76 year old mom uses email almost every day, and my 90 year old mother-in-law’s best friend (in her late 80s) is so computer connected she won’t move into the retirement community where my in-laws live until they build three bedroom apartments: one for her, one for her spouse and one for her computer equipment.

We’ll need all the technology assist we can get as we boomers head into the coming years. More of us will be living longer, more productive lives, but many of us will need help, too.

We may be the ones to install motion sensors throughout our homes, monitored by a company that tracks our usual level of activity and alerts someone when that usual activity changes.

We might be the ones to use health monitors that send data directly to our health care providers.

We’ll certainly be the ones to turn to the internet with each new ache and pain; each new prescriptions; each new diagnosis. We’ll turn to our friends on Facebook and other social networking sites to discuss how we deal with the problems we’ll all face as we age – relationships, needs, challenges.

Many are beginning to look today to technology to help bridge the gap between needed knowledge and available time. Internet based training courses abound – both free and for a fee. There’s less and less of a shyster reputation attached, too, as prominent universities are offering courses and degrees, fully online.

Teaching through a virtual classroom helps bridge another gap in our society: too few teachers and classrooms for the number of interested learners. Virtual classrooms allow individuals in Fiji to learn alongside those in Calgary, Alberta, who are studying classes offered by a small company situated in Oregon City, Oregon.

It’s a great thing that we boomers are so enamored of our technology. In the coming years, we’re going to need the advantages it offers us to live the kinds of lives we’re determined to live, well into our good old age.

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