Computers, smartphone and other gadgets snapped up by Golden Oldies
The Baby Boomer Generation is 77 million members strong. The youngest of the Generation turned 50 years old in 2014. That means every member of the biggest generation alive today is a ‘Golden Oldie.’
Being a ‘Golden Oldie’ today doesn’t mean the same thing it did to those who reached that age fifty years ago. Someone born between 1910 and 1915 had an average life expectancy of 48.4 years. By 1930, things had improved a bit. The average life expectancy among white America had improved by more than eleven years to 59.7 years. The life expectancy among black Americans however had actually decreased marginally to 48.1 years.
Improvements in general health and hygiene, plus the development of powerful medications such as penicillin, helped increase the average life expectancy significantly over the next fifteen years. By 1945, the average life expectancy for all men in the United States was 63.6 years. The average for all women was 67.9 years. By 1964, the last year for those born into the Baby Boom Generation, the average life expectancy had reached 70.17 years.
In the years since the last children of the post war Baby Boom were born, the life expectancy in the United States has increased to 78.2 years as of 2012. Women still outlive the men by a little less than five years, 81.2 years for women compared to 76.4 for the men.
The bottom line is we Baby Boomers are living longer and healthier lives. We owe it all to the advances in the medicines, nutritional supplements and technologies that were developed in the years since our birth. Along the way of progress has come new challenges and opportunities.
There’s a new language being spoken and it’s the language of the World Wide Web. Baby Boomers have jumped aboard the Information Superhighway and are the biggest new users of advanced technology tools like computers, tablets and smartphones. Some of the most enthusiastic eCommerce practitioners are Baby Boomers.
As Boomers continue to age, it’s crucial that those still not connected to the Internet figure out how to do so sooner than later. Not being an Internet literate Baby Boomer in this day and age is not an option. Uncertainty and fear on the ramp to the Internet Superhighway is certainly not a good place to find yourself. Not being a savvy computer user today is analogous to not knowing how to read or write in 1950. That’s just not cool or hip.
The good news is plenty for Baby Boomer newbies when it comes to new technologies. The things that kept people from embracing computers in the late seventies and eighties are no longer in play. The only folks dealing with the command line interface are serious geeks and hackers. Two inch thick user manuals are things of a long ago past. Today’s computers are literally child’s play. Whether you use an IBM Compatible personal computer or an Apple Macintosh, your learning curve is as easy as 1,2,3.
Things are even easier when it comes to smartphones and tablets. Today’s modern touch interface operating systems are very easy to use. Gone are hard to figure out buttons and arcane symbols. In their place are easy to understand picture icons. As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Apple’s iPhones, and smartphones from various manufacturers that use Google’s Android, make communicating across the country or around the world effortless.
In 1984, Apple introduced Macintosh. “The computer for the rest of us” opened the door for folks put off by the complicated world of green and Amber CRTs and their blinking cursors. The graphic user interface, or GUI for short, used visual representations of real world office tasks. When Microsoft introduced Windows 95, wave after wave of computer newbies began using technology where pencil and paper used to rule.
In the thirty one years since the debut of the Macintosh, Baby Boomers have become “Golden Oldies.” In the last twenty years, technology has grown up to meet the demands and needs of Baby Boomers everywhere. Today, it’s easier than ever to become part of the Global Digital Community. We owe a great bit of thanks to men like Steve Jobs and The Woz, Bill Gates and Paul Allen and Steve Balmer. Without their ideas, aided and abetted by techno geeks the world over, we might still be putting pencil to spreadsheet rows and columns.
Are you ready for the technology of the 21st century? You better be or else you will be left behind. It’s your choice, so choose wisely.
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