Larry 'N Atlana

(Yes we say “Atlana” down here)

Tech and Boomers

Just because we’re old doesn’t mean we’re not into tech

The young people today seem to believe that they have all the tech answers, but where would they be without us “boomers”? When I was young we turned to the older generation for advice, now we’re looked at like we’re stupid when it comes to technology.

I heard someone on a podcast talking about going over to Comcast with his father to disconnect his internet because “he’s in his 70s, he doesn’t need the internet any more”. What does the fact that he’s older have to do with not needing the internet? Maybe he doesn’t want or need it because he doesn’t use it. Maybe he is losing some mental capacity, maybe a lot of things, but saying that a person doesn’t need the internet because he’s older is a bunch of crock. Tech isn’t just for the young. I’m 67, do I have just three more years of internet left?

I was at an event the other day where they had a piece of paper on each table with a QR code to scan to bring up a google docs form to fill out. Twice I was told that if I couldn’t figure it out I should “find a 20 year old to ask”. I had to bite my tongue to keep from mouthing off.

Millenials

A few months ago I had a conversation with a couple of people in the office who are in their 20s. They said something that let me think that they believe younger people are way more tech savvy than older people. I let them know that I’m in my 60s and have been building and learning to code computers for over 35 years, way before they were born. I have a lot more experience working with tech than they do, so what makes them more tech savvy?

Computer motherboard

Back in my day

Young people today have never had to reset their winsock, or trace down an IRQ conflict, or open up their PC and flip dip switches to get something to work. They’ve never had to install and configure daughterboards so they could add more RAM to a machine. Lord help them if they had to learn DOS and enter commands. They just turn on things and they work. Wow, their knowledge amazes me.

computer code

I did all these things and tech was just a hobby for me. Others in my generation helped this young generation by making it where they don’t have to do them.

I have now at 67 started a web design business, South Metro Web.

In.

My.

Sixties.

The old geeks

Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple. All in my generation. Sergey Brin, Larry Page of Google, Jerry Yang, David Filo of Yahoo!. All in their 50s or approaching them. Yes there are a lot of young people with fresh ideas doing great things and I appreciate what they’re doing, but without Vince Cerf (76), Bob Kahn (80), or Tim Berners-Lee (64), they would be on IRC and Usenet with a dial up (ask a boomer if you don’t know what those are), not Snapchat or Instagram.

I guess Vince Cerf doesn’t need the internet anymore. After all, he’s in his 70s

Not everyone older is tech savvy

Now I know there’s a lot of older people who are not into tech. That has nothing to do with their age, just they weren’t interested in it when it was new. Now they are being forced to learn if they want to navigate in today’s world. That may be causing some resistance.

I guess it’s that attitude that we’re as the older generation are getting from the younger ones that causes a riff between us. I for one can appreciate what the youngers are doing, I hope they can appreciate what the olders have done.

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