Never Too Old for Technology


Many 70, 80 and 90 year olds aren’t intimidated by technology.–PC Pitstop.

Never Too Old for Technology

By Leo Notenboom

You’re never too old

Hi everyone, I’m Leo Notenboom for askleo.com.

You know, one of the things I love about what I do and the technology I get to play with every day is that it opens so many doorways and presents us all with so many opportunities to take advantage of … if we are willing to take advantage of it.

That’s where a thread that came through in the last survey kind of bugged me just a little bit. People were using the phrase, “I’m old” as kind of an excuse for not getting something or not feeling like they were ready to do something.

And I personally, I find that kind of sad. Not everybody was doing it. A lot of people were just saying, well, “I’m old”, which is awesome, and they were able to accomplish a lot of things which was actually, like I said, pretty awesome but I [also] kept seeing it as kind of an excuse, like I said, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

The issue with technology from my perspective is that it is something that presents us with tremendous opportunity if we are willing to take advantage of it. It doesn’t really matter how old you are. Age, the number of years on a calendar, heck, seriously it doesn’t matter.

I regularly hear from folks in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and honestly, I’m waiting to hear from that hundred-year-old, I really am – who are having a great time with technology, who are using it to do things that their children or their grandchildren just never imagine and certainly that folks of their age just can’t quite comprehend. That they’re just doing all of these fun things: connecting with people, sharing with people, communicating with people.

Because in a lot of ways, that’s what a lot of the internet and technology is all about. It’s about connecting with other people.

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4 thoughts on “Never Too Old for Technology

  1. I am 78 – took my first computer classes in college – IBM 1610 and IBM1410. Spent years working on IBM 1400, 7000 series system 3’s and system 7’s and system 360’s.

    Took me a while to get moving in PC’s – but finally understood it ( had never dug into unix). In original computers – one had to read a manual to get going – This has been lost in modern generations find very few people who never read manuals.

    I enjoy your site and comments keep up the good work.

    Tom Rush

  2. Thanks, Leo. I am 76 and have been an early adapter since the early 1970's. My first home computer was a Sinclair and that led me to an Apricot. Not many people remember either of those brands.

  3. My late father at 97 was the oldest person Dell UK had sold a new computer to, a few years ago. It's a matter of luck (avoiding dementia) plus it's a culture thing. What computers have so much to offer us all is often so much more valuable to older people, who may be isolated, have mobility problems, problems of sight and hearing for which there are built in solutions, and also offer the convenience and cost saving of online shopping. Tragically, those who would benefit most often have no role models within their peer groups, as examples and mentors. It up to us all to gently assist and mentor our parents. It's the generation born before about 1950, now retiring from jobs that in their time never got to embracing the now ubiquitous computer, who need gentle help most. I just don't understand why the industry doesn't target this vast market with appropriate products.

  4. Yes, Leo, you’re absolutely right! However, although I’m in my early 70s, I’ve been building/reburbing computers for 25+ years. There’s a distinction between an ‘old’ techie & someone who just should be utilizing a computer for the ‘basics’ as you describe!

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