Prime Ministers are getting younger. Had you noticed? It used to be a sign of getting older when policemen looked too young for the job but PMs are definitely no longer elder statesmen. In his mid forties David Cameron is our youngest ever PM. It would appear that youth not experience is valued – and not just in politics. You and I are part of an ever increasing age-ing population. With many people having to work almost until they are seventy, what do you see your value as being now that you are over fifty? There are three questions for you at the end around this and the theme of technology.
With the focus on youth and “improving” (I have views on that too!) its education, it seems to me that digital Britain is in danger of a) losing a great swathe of a potentially useful and experienced work force b) be left with a large population of dependents, if it fails to educate its post war generation into the dark skills of technology. I say “dark skills” slightly tongue in cheek because I recently heard about automatic authoring programmes being used to “write” books. That’s dark to me.
Are you disadvantaged if you are not on top of technology?
Whether or not you are one of those for whom retirement at 60/65 no longer an option, these days many people are not ready to take up their slippers and retreat to hearth and home.There are women who have really useful skills but are disadvantaged because they are not comfortable with this constantly changing medium of communication which is very much a part of today’s work place. Over the last year as part of the programme which enabled me to write my book “Women On A Wobble”, I have been working alongside people who are younger than me and highly successful. A large part of their success is their ability to engage with technology both in their businesses and socially so creating vast numbers of contacts. Frequently I have felt overwhelmed by talk of API, CRM, SEO, managing auto responders, bulk scheduling etc etc. However for someone who wasn’t even on Facebook eighteen months ago I have been pushed into a place of being more techo capable than I would have ever imagined – though it’s fair to say I have a long way to go. Whether you need/want to work or not, being capable of using technology is now part of the fabric of society. It is a means of often dispersed families staying connected and of keeping up to date and integrated into the wider world – almost a necessity as one ages to avoid isolation and depression.
Three questions for technophobes over 50
If you are reading this and over 50 I have three questions for you:
- What do you believe is the most valuable contribution you can make to society at this stage of your life?
- What resources do you know of that would help us technophobes get started and become more integrated with technology?
- I got pushed into something out of necessity. Carrot and stick are something to which I respond well! What encourages you to respond to something in which you might not have a great deal of interest but is essentially good for you?