May 14

Are you really too old to learn new tricks?

I’ve been working with electronics, computers, tablets and cell phones since their inception. I got my first computer in 1977, an Apple ][, and have been in love with electronics ever since.

Back in those days, there weren’t a lot of people who could teach you how to use things like computers and techie stuff like anything other than OTA (over the air) television was really in its infancy.

I remember chomping at the bit for cable to come to the house we lived in in Suburban Chicago. But again, when it came time to learn something, I had to do it either by myself, or find some other like minded geek who was learning as he or she went along.

Now as I near Medicare eligibility I find that there’s a lot of folks my age (and younger) that really have no idea how to use technology and oftentimes reach out for the simplest of things. I started this blog for those folks – of all ages – who simply want to know how their technology can work for them, and get answers to the most basic questions on how to use all of the tech that they’re bombarded with.

So, lets take this blog for a ride and see where it goes.  I’ll start with some random topics over the next few days, and hopefully some of your questions and comments will stimulate more interesting discussion!


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  1. David Ramsey

    Oh, quite true about the old folks not being able to “use technology”. I wrote an online application for my Mustang club’s upcoming car show. It’s a Mustang Club of America national show and we are required to use their design for paper forms (mail-in registrations). The paper form is so complex that over 80% of the applications we receive are wrong; that is, they’ve computed the show fees incorrectly.

    My online application form is much simpler and _can’t_ compute the show fee incorrectly, but only about 40% of people use it. I tried to walk one club member through filling out the form online only to discover that although he’d had a computer for over a decade, he had apparently never seen a popup menu and didn’t know how to use them to make selections. Another club memory in his 60s, a smart fellow I know personally, expressed confusion when I said he could just hit the [Tab] key rather than clicking the mouse in each text entry field. Looking at the keyboard in confusion, he asked “Where’s the Tab key?”

  2. Marty Silbernik

    I have to agree with you, David… but I’m finding it’s not just the older folks that have some issues. I’m seeing folks in their 40’s and 50’s that have having some of the same problems.

    it’s not so much what key to use to move around a form, or how to do a pull down menu. It’s more of maybe putting too much faith or too little faith into the technology that they’re using.

    I’ve talked to a lot of people who have no idea how to do the little things with technology to make their lives easier. I see people who are the opposite as well — putting to much reliability on technology and not enough into their personal experiences or knowledge base.

    But more on that down the line — that could be a whole series of topics in the future!

  3. Maynard Grossman

    As someone who has only benefited from your advice, I can give you nothing but high marks on your advice and wish you only good luck with your blog. I’m very excited about getting your knowledge with asking you.

  4. Marty Silbernik

    Thanks Maynard…. and you can expect to see yourself in some of the future posts ! Be sure to follow the blog (click on the follow button) and then you’ll get a notification each time I make a new post!

  5. Sela Remesar

    I guess this will be a great learning experience for me. I have top of the line phone that has pretty much replaced my computer, yet I can’t find the “follow” option! 🙂

  6. Marty Silbernik

    Sela, there’s 2 places to follow the blog from. Since you’re accessing it from your phone, just scroll to the bottom of the post, after the reply section and you’ll see a place to enter your email address. Click on “follow” and you’ll get an email asking you to confirm that you want to follow the blog. Click on the confirmation and that’s it!

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