Chris Moerdyk

Don't mess with us oldies

2012-11-12 07:41

Chris Moerdyk

In spite of being officially classified a senior citizen, I am, to the intense frustration of my children, just as computer literate as they are. I have about 7 000 followers on Twitter which is more than four times the number all four of my children have put together.

I have an iPad with built in 3G and more memory than my children have on theirs. They have iPhones but I have a Blackberry and as everyone knows this means that I am seriously connected while they are merely indulging their childish fantasies by being able to amuse their friends with an array of electronic farting.  

A mistake many companies make these days is to assume that anyone over the age of 40 knows absolutely nothing about technology and still writes letters with pen and paper and goes shopping in shops.

What they forget is that these "Silver Surfers" as they are called, might well be 60 years old and more and while they make up only six percent of the population they are responsible for 20% of the spending.

They almost all have kids living overseas so they know their way around Skype, FaceTime, Facebook , short messaging,  MacBooks, iPads and all manner of modern communications gadgetry.

In one little seaside retirement town in South Africa the local computer club has almost 300 members and the average age is 75.

Even more surprising is the fact that for many years the "IT guru" at the club who sent out "how to" newsletters that looked like they were compiled by the 20 year old nerd grandson of one of the members, was 92 years of age.

Something else interesting is that you have a look at Apple and Microsoft - they're companies run by old guys, unlike FaceBook which is run by a kid. Ask yourself which company you would invest in?

So, the moral of this story is that one should not assume that all old people don't understand computers.  

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