sábado, 12 de marzo de 2011

The need of bridging the gap.

Nowadays, it is clear that  Internet is becoming a part of our daily lives. However, it is producing a gap between generations.
I am especially worry about that gap in the society for the elderly. They  feel appart from society as technology plays a more important place in people's daily life and these people are slowly becoming more distant to increase their communication skills because they can not handle computers.

Internet gives us a better quality of life and makes life easier, so it's not fair that older people can not benefit from these advantages, especially being a collective of a large number of people with health and mobility problems which, unfortunately, are also sometimes victims of isolation and to whom the Internet would be the window to a world full of conveniences.

It is useless to try to find out who the guilty is, because, in my opinion there is no guilty. On the one hand, the elderly have many barriers (economic, physical, mental) so that they associate directly the concept of 'technology' to that of 'complexity’ and decide not to complicate their life, ignoring that they are doing the opposite.
 Changes are hard for everybody, accustomed to a lifestyle without technologies they find it difficult to change their habits now, "if I have ever needed it, now at my age less." But they don’t realize that times changes, and in a globalized world to be connected is essential. Moreover,they feel ashamed to seem useless so they don’t want to know anything about computers and other applications.

About us, we don’t make things easy. How to many of you has your grandmother ever asked to teach her  passing phone numbers to the mobile agenda and have finished desperate for its slowness with a "give it to me grandma and I  will do it"? How do we expect them to learn if we don’t teach them? As they  had  a lot of paciencein the past to teach us walking, writtig or cycling, we should do now the same: they deserve it.

New operating systems, with larger buttons and sliders so you they can see, simple instructions and more hispanicised, massive digital literacy programs and implementation of new technologies for this segment should be created to bring the web to seniors' organizations so that they have more access to information related to projects for the elderly, monitoring, travel etc. 

However, it is also true that more and more older people try to learn and "be fashionable." For example, my grandfather, a retired judge of 80 years, when he won the retirement decided to buy a computer and explore its possibilities. Since then no one is able to separate him from it  and it is he  the one  who taught me. He has found a way to communicate with their children and grandchildren, to spend his free time,  to learn and read the paper without leaving home. For him, being updated is very important today and highlights the importance of adapting to changing times.

To conclude, there are a lot of barriers in society and breaking them down is not an easy task, but it is the only solution to build a bridge to help them get on the digital train before losing it forever.

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