Monday, November 7, 2011

Grandparents and Technology

Susan at, has an interesting article today about the little "digital natives" that are our grandkids.  It makes me wonder about the grandparents today, and the soon-to-be grandparents of tomorrow.  I've got a number of friends who, ten years ago, were definitely not computer users, struggled with e-mail, and could not attach a photo to an e-mail if they had to.  The advent of Facebook has brought a lot of them around in that area, but many are still pretty uncomfortable with anything beyond a picture upload or text message.

We actually run a computer networking company, and were extreme early adopters of technology (somewhere there's a video of our now 25-year-old son playing an online game while still in diapers).  Now, I'm a Web programmer, and actually have been working in the last couple of years on a Web site specifically created for older users (hunter education instructors).  It's fun to explore how to set up a site for users who aren't too comfortable with the Internet in general, and challenging as well.  I can guarantee that if it's not user-friendly, they won't use it!

I do think we're going to see lots more technology-savvy grandparents in the next ten years, and they'll start shopping online, reviewing products online, and even communicating online lots more.  I really can't imagine a technology better suited to grandkids and their grandparents right now than Skype, and I would expect to see more easy-to-use communication tools like this for grandparents springing up in the next decade.

One of the reasons I created was to provide some grandparent-specific reviews for online purchasing.  I love to read reviews of products before I buy them, but as a grandparent, I'm looking for different info than a parent.  I hope to provide more of these reviews as time goes along, and will be asking grandparent friends to help out with some reviews as well.

I think the online future for grandparents is only going to grow, and I'd encourage everyone to push themselves a bit in their knowledge level, or just give something new a try.  Might even help the old brain cells to stay active a while longer!

1 comment:

Susan Adcox said...

Thanks for the link-up! I, too, anticipate a jump in the number of technology-savvy grandparents in the near future. When the members of Generation X (born 1960-1980 or so) hit the grandparenting stage--which some of them have already done--we'll see a revolution! They will give grandparent bloggers like you and me a run for our money!