It happens all the time. Some new technology or application comes out , it catches on like wildfire and then someone in the media writes an article about the technology being “for the young”. Then about 18 months later the technology becomes more mainstream and an article is written about “baby boomers” using the technology , platform or application.
The shock of it all. 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 year olds using a social network ? Sending Text messages ? Bowling on a Wii ? Who knew ?
It seems like thoee who write these articles think all of the baby boomers and their parents were asleep over the last 25 years. Did they not notice the PC revolution? Could anyone miss the IBM Charlie Chaplin ads 25 years ago ? Did they never quite manage to figure out what that modem in their home pc was designed to do ? Even if it came with free software to test and try The Source, CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL and others ?
Technology. Digital Communications. They are not new. They are not news. They are old news. But thats not what is interesting about these articles.
What is interesting to me is not that articles are written showing surprise that the geriatric generation and their kids are going online , despite the protests of their grandkids. What is interesting to me is how few in the media, regardless of platform, be it TV, Newspaper, magazine , blogger or twitterer, have more than a rudimentary knowledge of the history of the technologies we are using.
There seems to be some delusion that all technology and applications are new. Invented from a cloudburst with no historical context. That as new, the technology is the province of the young, with anyone over 29 too old to understand and too confused to actually use it.
If it were up to those in the media, the new phase for high school and college kids today would be
“Never friend anyone over 29”
In this day and age, 25 years post the first IBM PC, pretty much everyone is able to adapt to, accept and become accomplished with consumer technologies.
Your granddad is going to want to be your friend, text or IM you and get a GPS enabled phone.. Get used to it.