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The fair way to explain this is that I have been involved (or interested) in technology since I was a kid in the late seventies and early eighties. I was growing up during the big technology boom with video game consoles, video cassette recorders and eventually the internet. Unfortunately for me, my family was not endowed with financial wealth that I would be able to get a personal computer or the like until I gained access to one through an ex-girlfriend in the late nineties. Not a happy time in my life but that is a story for another time.

Needless to say, I have enjoyed the technology boom since. Of course, I have reached that age when I question the need for such technology, multiple devices and apps. To clarify, it is not because I do not wish to learn new “things” but it is simply a realization of how much do I need to be “connected” to everything. I knew of a life without such technology and am thankful that I did not grow up with such a childhood. I fear for those kids now that choose to run for public office later in life. That should prove to be interesting.

While I wonder if we truly need to be connected, I have come across people that believe they are too old to learn anything new. I hear all kinds of excuse (many of which is supposed to show them as “old skool” but comes off as simply lazy) why they do not own a smartphone, still have a landline, do not use the internet or even have a computer. If you are one of those people that have said “yes” to anything that I have previously mentioned, you are part of the problem.

This one is a two-prong issue. One: older people are simply being lazy and already put themselves down as “too old” to learn this new technology. Two: the younger generation needs to adopt a softer hand and more patience when assisting them with their technology. I am no saint by any means. My brother is a slow adopter of technology. Not to say that he takes a while to get new technology, he is slow on figuring out how to use it. Gets frustrated quickly. However, I get impatient sometimes that I end up doing it for him.

Studies have shown that when people get older, they tend to refuse to learn new things because they simply “won’t get it.” Note that I said “won’t” and not the term “can’t”. The former would indicate that they have already cut themselves off at the knees before they even tried. That is a self-defeatist attitude and affects many people of all ages. However, it has shown that learning new concepts and functions keeps the brain from aging faster than it would by simply living with what you know.

People that do take the time to learn new technology or studying something that they never “got” before helps keep the brain alert. Granted, we all get frustrated sometime but it has to be determined if it is really too hard or simply we just refuse to “get it”.

The first thing that people need to understand when they come in contact with the internet, they need to learn how YouTube works. It isn’t the international database for cute kitten and silly human tricks videos. But that you can learn a lot of things from it. You can learn everything from fixing your fridge seal to how to set up your own personal website using HTML-5. Not to mention that people think learning how to search on YouTube is difficult but know what you are looking for. You know what? I think there is a YouTube video about how to search things on YouTube.

The basics of what I am trying to say is that learning new technology is not hard. Society, especially my job, requires more people to move that way. Being obstinate about learning new technology does not make you cool (even saying “old skool” doesn’t help) it makes you an angry old person.  Using technology will reduce the amount of time you would have spent driving around town for most of the day rather than spending twenty minutes online. If you think you have some life left in you, then go ahead and learn something new. Keep that brain active and don’t let your self-defeatism get the best of you. The quest for knowledge is not age-based, it’s desire-based.