Tech Toys: Trying to Cope with a World that Moves Too Fast – Some Opt Out


Pictured is the Camarillo Ranch Museum in Camarillo, Calif. Notice the elegant, wood desk with books neatly stacked on top of it–and lack of electronic equipment. Imagine stepping back into a world where computers and cell phones don’t exist. Many of the world’s senior citizens come from this realm and reality–and for some, it’s too hard to adjust and learn new technologies.

Did you give a loved one a high-tech Christmas gift, only to have them ask you if you want it back? Many friends have reported that their senior parents and grandparents wanted items such as a Kindle, but when they received the electronic gifts they were overwhelmed–sometimes responding with fear, anger or even horror. What the gift giver often discovers is that the tech toys are indeed, complex, and sometimes hard to figure, no matter what your age!

Here’s one account:

The Kindle. Well it went like this…..our 95 year old grandmother wanted it so we got it. On Christmas we gave it to her and she hardly responded. I had written simple operating instructions and I told her I would be by the next day to get her started. I had downloaded 68 books.

The next day I went. She started with, “Would you use this?” I said no. “Would Michael use this?” I told her I didn’t know about Michael, but we all had one. So we started on it. She got the gist and seemed encouraged. The next morning I called and asked if she had been playing with it. She said it was confusing to her. Before I went over to help some more I made even simpler instructions. I had to learn the thing first and then make directions, so they weren’t perfect. No manual comes with it. She was finally able to go to the list of books, choose a book and go back to the list. She said she was going to master it.

The next day I called. She didn’t want it any more. I bought me another Kindle. In February they will have a Kindle for Dummies which I’m getting for myself. It should eliminate the hassle of guessing how to navigate with the newest version.

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