AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Digital Media and The Older Generation

Posted by lisaw88 on June 11, 2011

Why are older people (senior citizens) skeptical about using digital media? While there are some younger aged adults and even teens who are, a lot of senior citizens seem to be complacent. They like the traditional “hand writing a letter” opposed to signing up for a Facebook and calling someone on the phone rather than Skyping. While I can understand that they probably do not want a Twitter because all Twitter is, is status updates and a few videos and pictures, there are other social media outlets. Yes! they grew up in a generation where all they had were telecommunications but it’s time for them to “let go of the past” and adapt to the present and growing future of digital media.

I know people who have had the same cell phones (for over 3 years ) and televisions (sarcastically speaking “the first television ever”) and even computers (rather word processors) who do not want to get rid of them. They are still living in the old ages.  

Do you know of any older people (senior citizens) who do not like using digital media and if so, what was there reason for not wanting to “connect and upgrade” in the digital world?

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One Response to “Digital Media and The Older Generation”

  1. chadlymc said

    One of my favorite teachers from my high school who is in his late 70’s and is a friend of mine absolutely will not under any circumstances use digital media, and he’s still teaching! He teaches at my alma mater, the Kiskiminetas Springs School, in good old Saltsburg, PA. Mr. Szilagyi, who was born in Hungaria and emigrated to the U.S. with his new wife shortly before the war has been teaching at Kiski for well over 40 years now. He’s a teacher of history and they’ve been trying for the last five years to force a computer on him because all the students receive a laptop upon enrollment now and all lessons and homework and notes must be made available online. Szilagyi refuses to use a computer or any digital media because as he says, and forgive me, I’m just quoting the legend, “All of that digital shit destroys your brain waves, prevents you from really learning, and makes all you fuckers get sleepy in my classroom.” (Please note, Kiski is an all boys preparatory school, it is not unusual for men to use such profanity in the company of other men. Plus the man is almost 80 he can say what he wants.) Mrs. Szilagyi, his wife, also almost 80, has been using computers for over a decade. She worked as a Library Aide for Kiski for 35 years and she loves computers. It keeps her in touch with her grandchildren, but Mr. Szilagyi, he just won’t budge. It’s really interesting. Mr. Szilagyi’s classroom is the only one at Kiski where the lessons are written in chalk on a chalkboard (there’ll be none of those fucking whiteboards in his classroom). His is the only class where it is kosher to forget your laptop, after all, he’s grading your notebook (and I do mean a notebook with handwritten notes). Szilagyi teaches history and he considers himself truly authentic to his discipline because he’s teaching them history by not using advanced technology. He teaches history, so they might as well see the history of what school used to be like. That’s Mr. Szilagyi’s mantra and something tells me Kiski will permit him to teach this way for as long as he wants. Mrs. Szilagyi puts his lessons online for the boys and even enters their grades into the online grading system. Perhaps this is best for both of them, because though Mrs. Szilagyi is retired, it keeps her active and him as well. They’re a team and they’ve been that way for over 50 years.

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