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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  • quarty.vanzyl - 2012-11-12 09:05

    Something refreshingly new! Keep it up Chris! These youngsters should be scared...very scared.

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-11-12 13:26

    Thanks Chris for highlighting this. If I look at marketing, the target groups are the 25 generation. How about some intelligent TV for us, the 50+? DSTV doesn't look at the age group of the people paying for the bloody thing, it looks at the viewer numbers and then the programming gets worse. The worse it gets, the less the thinking generation watches. Its a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      flysouth - 2012-11-13 14:44

      'Intelligent Television' - now there's an oxymoron up there with 'Military Intelligence' etc!

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2012-11-12 14:38

    I only got as far as "...but I have a Blackberry and as everyone knows this means that I am seriously connected..." to realize you know jack s**t about technology.

      syd.harling - 2012-11-12 18:06

      Not necessarily true. Your name says it all - you ARE a stirer, in fact you are the weakest link, goodbye.

  • dylan.mugabe - 2012-11-12 15:03

    Spoken like a true old person.

      flysouth - 2012-11-13 14:42

      Youth really IS wasted on the young! Hire a teenager while they still know everything!

  • davorin.dobrovic - 2012-11-12 15:19

    The older you get the more you complain

      syd.harling - 2012-11-12 18:36

      You reckon? You talk sh*t.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-12 16:33

    Hahaha, you tell them Chris! Fully agree except where your mind wondered re the Blackberry - but you too will eventually come around. The interesting thing about arrogant young people is that they seem to forget that they too are getting older - quicker than they realize. Yep, being sidelined by whippersnappers is just a few sleeps away...

  • syd.harling - 2012-11-12 18:04

    Too right Chris! I build my own computers and am as techo-savvy as most people who claim to be experts. I use facebook. google earth and whatever else is going. I can repair dead computers and used to program in the days of msdos so don't think that only the lighties know anything about technology. I am 65 years old!

  • scott.arendse - 2012-11-12 21:53

    I noticed that a lot of the older generation in the workplace are always trying to prove that they are not technologically challenge by flashing their tablets (as in electronic devices and not the type one would take to lower blood pressure) and showing what cool apps they downloaded the night before. It is not necessary to know how to right C# code or query SQL databases in order to get respect. Be proud of your understanding and experience you have gained in your field of expertise over the years. Just make sure that you know how to send an email though...

  • kobie.nel1 - 2012-11-12 21:57

    Remember, whe are probably not as good at using the technology, and we did not have PC games and cel phones when we were young, but we are the generation that kept ourselfs busy designing and developing it. So, what the hel do the children have to brag about.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-13 14:41

    With over 30 years playing around with computers there is little practical knowledge and skill that I am not familiar with - I started when I was 34 in 1980 with an Apple 2! Taught myself HTML/Javascript/PhP/MySql/Perl from 1997 and now do programming in my own business for numerous business clients - who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks?

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-15 10:36

    Android is much better than iphone and bb put together... I can actually open up spreadsheets and word documents and edit them properly... I cannot stand how BB opens pdf attachments or embeded images in email... they optimize so much you can't read documents...

  • makarapakaplan - 2012-11-30 16:19

    Well anyone who is still using a BB is fairly behind still

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