Meredith W. Nicholson

Meredith W. Nicholson

An analog person in a digital world.

Strange thought these days. Surprisingly, there are a lot of them still out there.

In spite of all the technological advancements made through the years, a lot of the older generation has not embraced these advancements.

Take, for instance, the personal computer and cell phone, in all its incarnations. A lot of the older generation never even had the basic “flip phone.” Not to mention having the latest “computer in your hand” Androids and iPhones.

It’s becoming increasingly more difficult for oldsters to keep up with what’s happening out there, now that everything is going “paperless,” as is the case of a lot of our utilities and credit card bills these days. The older generation is caught unprepared. Some of us younger folks aren’t so happy about it either.

Some of us with computers still want paper bills but have been told that we would receive “online bills” or have to pay extra money to get paper bills. Not such a great thing for those of us who still believe in hard copies and paperwork we can actually put our hands on.

For some people it’s an inconvenience, especially those people who have a phobia about any kind of online financial transaction that opens them up to having their personal information accessible to hackers. Believe me, for every security program and safety lock, there’s someone out there coming up with a way to break through it.

I know of a woman not even in the oldest generation who, in preparation for a medical procedure, was told by her doctor’s office staff that she needed to download and fill out the needed forms online, by computer. Only trouble being, she did not have a computer.

On each successive call to the doctor’s office to try to remedy this situation she was repeatedly told she needed to do this by computer and internet. Hello, is no one listening? Perhaps it was not convenient for her to truck off to the library and try to use something she was basically unfamiliar with.

Sometimes even to the experienced computer user such things can boggle the mind, so you can imagine what it would do to someone totally unfamiliar with computers.

In this age of constant “tech” advancement, we have to stop and consider those who have not become part of technology as life’s mainstay, or only way of doing things. We still need to keep in mind that not everyone is computer literate, and pay attention enough to still be able to help those in this situation who can’t help themselves.

In a few more generations everyone will be computer literate, but it’s still going to take a while. We need to remember that. The thought of waiting for a few generations to die off is a strong and unpleasant one, but that’s the only way everything will become technologically sustained, ingrained or incorporated.

For now, we still need to remember to consider the analog person in this digital world, and give a care and a helping hand to those who are past the point of adapting to it.

We also need to keep in mind that the future has amazing possibilities, but we should not give up totally on the basics we grew up with, and should continue to teach our children those basics.

Children nowadays use computers for math, not the old-fashioned memorization of multiplication tables or the ol’ pencil and paper to add columns of figures. Most kids today can’t even count change back without the use of the cash register or calculator to tell them exactly how much to give a customer.

What about the use of Siri and Alexa and the like? Letting machines and “apps” do everything for us can lead to the inability to be able to do it ourselves if the need arises.

There are memes on the internet that joke about using cursive in the future as code because children these days aren’t taught how to write, they can only print, type or text.

Peer into the future, to a time when, as in the past, there is a seriously long power failure in most of the area you live in. Fine, there’s solar power to recharge our electronics. Well, what if your solar charger fails? Yes, I know that’s an extreme view, but what if?

Think about it. What will the populace do then? If all people know is microwaves, computers, iPhones, calculators —… what then, when they run out of power?

At least an analog person can still survive. Can the technology dependent youth of today, who will be the leaders of tomorrow, say the same thing?

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