The other day, I visited my friend Mattie who had recently moved into senior housing. I hadn’t seen her in a few months and I wanted to see how she was settling in and to show off my new gadget. I showed her my new iphone. “It does just about everything except cook a meal and run your bath water,” I said. She laughed and shook her head. “Things have really changed from when I was a little girl. All these new inventions, I can’t keep up,” she said. “It seems that just when I become comfortable with one thing, it’s obsolete.” Although it is a struggle, Mattie tries. she’s still learning how to use her new laptop computer. She uses it mostly to send emails to her children and other relatives, to pay her bills online, and to surf the web for anything she happens to be interested in.
She told me about her next door neighbor who refuses to even consider all the new technological advances. “Vera is the most stubborn person I’ve ever met. I tried to tell her she needed to get rid of her corded phone and get a cordless. That way she wouldn’t miss so many calls.” I told Mattie I, too, had had a hard time giving up my corded phone for the cordless. “And what would we do without the cell phone?” I asked. We were watching an old movie where the heroine was being chased by the villain. She tried to find a phone booth to dial the police. “If she had a cell phone, she wouldn’t have had that problem,” Mattie commented.
She said she spoke to her neighbor about getting a cell phone, but Vera didn’t want to hear it. “Why would anyone want to carry around a phone with them all the time? When I’m out in the street, all I see are young folk with phones attached to their ears even when they’re with somebody. Instead of talking to each other, they’re talking on the phone!”
“I didn’t think it was important until one day when my car broke down right in the middle of the street,” said Mattie. “I looked around for a pay phone to call for help but couldn’t find one. I nearly panicked until a lady came up to me and offered to let me use her cell phone. That convinced me.”
I remarked that even if you don’t use the cell phone much, it’s good to have one in the home for emergencies. “Some organizations give cell phones to seniors for free. These phones are programmed to connect to 911.”
As I was getting up to leave, Mattie said she was thinking about getting a 52 inch TV and giving her 32 inch to her daughter. “When TV stations switched from analog to digital signals, my friend Vera waited until the very last minute to change. She hated giving up those rabbit ear.”
“Some people are afraid of change, especially technological changes,” I said. “I guess it is hard to give up something we’re use to.”
“If it wasn’t for the Wright Brothers, where would we be!” Mattie quipped. I love her sense of humor.
Mattie liked my iphone though I couldn’t explain how it worked. She pulled out her ipod and showed me. “My granddaughter gave this to me. She put on all my favorite songs.”
Here I thought I was there to persuade her to get tech savy, but she’s way ahead of me.