Techno-Generation Gap

by d
Image representing delicious as depicted in Cr...

Yes, but what IS that? //Image via CrunchBase

“What’s a bookmark?”

I cringe. I absolutely cringe. I try hard not to let it show on my face. The woman is older than my parents, it would be exceptional for her to be totally up to speed on these InterWebz of ours.

I cringe because this is a training conference, for software I need to learn to use. I’m having some issues with it, mainly because the logic is totally unlike any other system I’ve used. This frustrates me. On the other hand, I’m clearly on the far side of the universe from these people.

Many of them are in or approaching retirement. Many have been forced to retire early (aka laid off). We’re all here because we need this to work for us.

So, what’s a bookmark?

How are they ever going to understand the more advanced concepts being taught to us when something that basic is a mystery?

I am very concerned for them. I know I have the skillset to get up to speed and then exceed the speed limit. But what about them?

What’s a bookmark?

What’s really frightening is that I can already see myself slipping. I’m not as super-nimble as I was just a few years ago. Lazy time post-school and age have started to do their work. Nothing major, nothing that really affects my life. But I notice it. Odd things, an extra second to recall something, a fumble of the fingers. Is this what it’s going to be like some day? I look at old people shuffling at a snail’s pace, doggedly determined to cross the room, and I wonder if I will retain my impatience when I am at that point–in which case I may just kill myself rather than live in utter frustration–or if my mind will have slowed down so that it doesn’t seem so bad.

I try to store up these moments, when I’m aware of what it must be like to be old. I want to know, when I am old, if it’s what I expected.

Be patient, D. These people are here to learn, too.

“But how will Delicious know to link to my site?”

“Well, you have to finish registering, first.”


I don’t want to be so mentally decrepit that I cannot think at a speed that feels quick to me, or so stiff that I cannot move at a pace that satisfies me. I’m not afraid of wrinkles, or even of pain. I’m afraid that my body will trap my mind. I’ve been there before, and it wasn’t good at ALL.

Be patient, D.

5 Comments to “Techno-Generation Gap”

  1. That’s one thing about aging that I am afraid of. I’m afraid of something more specific, though. Dementia, especially Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen it, it’s terrifying to me. I don’t want to be trapped within my own mind, unable to comprehend what’s really going on, reduced to a childlike state, then to an infant-like state, and then to….nothingness before death. It makes me shudder. I try not to think of it.

    • That is something to fear. I only hope that if/when that happens, one isn’t really aware of it.

      It’s like a vegetative state–you aren’t you anymore.

      Having put Belle to sleep (and others), I have to wonder why it’s ok to put animals out of their misery but not people.

      • That’s changing, there are states with assisted suicide laws on the books that allow a doctor to do that for a patient. Oregon, for example. And, in the case of a patient who is unable to consent because they are not lucid enough or they are unconscious, that’s what next of kin and power of attorneys and living wills are for. To stop your needless suffering. The problem is that a lot of people refuse to let go of a person, they don’t want to be the one to pull the plug, to make that decision. They don’t want to live with it. They don’t want to know what others might think of them. They don’t want to find out that in a week the medical community has come out with a drug that’s been in the works secretly for years and has just now finally been approved and it’s a cure for the problem. There are stories of people living in comas for 15 years, only to emerge again because they were given the time. Any number of factors. Usually stemming from the person who has to make the decision’s own feelings, rather than what the patient is going through or would want.

      • I was talking less about the laws, and more about the public perception, which you described very well. It’s fear that keeps people from pulling the plug. I’ve always felt that quality of life should override life for life’s sake, but that view isn’t espoused much in this country.

  2. I know, and I totally agree with you, as well. I think that with laws changing, public perception will also change, though. Also, I think the mere fact that laws have changed also reflects the changing — even if that change is slow — public perception about the subject.

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