19th February 2013
Technology: one size fits one
By Anna Donovan, aged 15
You know the stereotypes; the technology obsessed teenager hypnotised by their mobile, face glued to the computer screen, and the out of touch elderly, oblivious to the transition a blackberry has made from simple fruit that tastes good in a crumble to a handheld device that holds all your most important personal information. And unfortunately, we rarely get the chance to erase the stigma associated with the our generations - so how are stereotypical attitudes ever supposed to change?
Take my grandma for example. The only oranges and apples she is aware of are the ones she buys down at the market, where she sees her friends and catches up on her day. It would be unheard of for a teenager to not have made arrangements via text, BBM or some kind of social media before stepping outside their front door.
The key question I ask myself is, do the younger generation really have it better off or is our access to technology slowly destroying the power of face to face communication? It’s ironic really how the generation who could find technology so beneficial and liberating are the most isolated. In reality, a teenager rarely uses technology in an emergency, we’ve grown up surrounded by the availability of easy communication that we’ve taken it for granted. You no longer need to be friends with someone to be aware of their friends, their relationship status, and whether they are feeling happy today. I think so many people have become attached to technology that it’s lost its true value.
On the other hand, the older generation are simply unaware of how it could appeal to them. This lack of knowledge has led to the inevitable fear of technology which has resulted in generation exclusion. They need to be shown how programmes such as Skype could improve their communication, their isolation and reduce costs hugely. This is where young people like me come in, as I believe the first step is changing the attitudes older people have towards technology and the opinions they may have on young people. In addition to this, intergenerational discussions need to be promoted so the wants and needs of each generation are established so elderly people can have a product which won’t be constantly changing but will be adapted to their lifestyle. One size fits one, not all.