Friday, May 23, 2008

"Shut Out: the Musical"

So, my mother came to visit a few weeks ago and we started talking about music. I made a suggestion that maybe she should get an MP3 player of some sort so that she can bring her music with her now that she spends several months of the year overseas. After all, since I love having an MP3 player, why wouldn't she?

Then after she left, I got to thinking about it. I'd made the assumption that my 70-something year old mother would have no problem with an MP3 player since she owns a digital camera, e-mails, shops online, and does all her banking online. I now think that I was wrong about her potential enthusiasm for embracing new technology. As it turns out, she doesn't know as much about technology as I thought she does. The majority of her computer use consists of forwarding jokes from her friends, while the "how" of doing a lot of things like checking her e-mail on a computer that's not her own (I tried to walk her through the homepage thing), or how to download her photos to her computer are difficult for her to "get", even after mutiple lessons. Period. Yes, after trying several times to show her the uses of copying and pasting text, I got to realizing that this whole tangle of technology is pretty overwhelming to her at this point, even if she is more savvy than most of her friends. She finally told me that she doesn't enjoy dealing with technology, even going so far as to say that she actually hates it. She doesn't often use that word.

Then I got to thinking, we get to an age where it's infinitely harder to learn things; technology is coming along at such a clip that people like my mother and even people younger than my mother are having more and more trouble learning even the most basic skills. Heck, my 60-something mother-in-law flatly refuses to even sit at a computer. I think that ATM's are about the top of her technology limit.

Anyway, what dawned on me is that my mother, given her difficulty in using the majority of the functions of a computer, is on the brink of being shut out. CD's and DVD's are on their way out and are predicted to be very scarce if not obsolete in the next few years. That's nothing new since technology is always being phase out for something else... it's been happening for ages. Record albums, eight-track tapes, and cassettes were killed by CD's; VHS tapes went the way of the dinosaur for DVD's. Big deal... all an older person had to do was buy a new player, buy the new new CD or DVD, pop it in the new player and VIOLA! there was their music or movie. But nowadays? We're heading towards having all that phased out for MP3 music files and downloaded movies.

Everything will require computers.

"Yeah, so?" Well, it may not be anything to most younger people, but it's a really big deal to someone who isn't that computer savvy like my mother. In another 10 years, if my mom wants to buy a new movie or some new music, she'll be, well, screwed. And if she lives as old as her father did, can you imagine not being able to buy new entertainment for over 20 years?

I can't. It boggles my mind that we'll be shutting out so many older people with "progress".

Monday, May 19, 2008

If cupcakes ruled the world...

In honor of the title of my new blog, I felt that the first real post had to be cupcake related. Perhaps they just appeal to my sense of the absurd, but, what can I say? I would love to have one of these!

Bon appétit!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

yeah, okay, NOW what?

Alright, I had to do this... I had to start a spanking new blog. I've done the "gonna write some personal stuff about myself" thing for over a year and a half and that went pretty well for a while until, well, it didn't. Hmmm.... I guess that you had to be there.

So, guess what! Now I'm going to post whatever I feel like, content be damned! It's gonna be whatever tickles me, be it videos, photos, questions, or just a whole lot of verbal nonsense. I feel like a new woman!

That's what she said.

Now pass the cupcakes!!!

P.S. I think that I'm going to resuscitate my photo blog when I get a moment. Just FYI.