iPad – a gift to reconnect my parents!

In an increasingly connected world there many folk in their golden years who are becoming increasingly disconnected.

My parents who are well into their golden years (mother 78 and father 80) have become confused and intimidated with technology. They have a big TV screen, DVD player / recorder, pay TV (and box), three remotes and a netbook running Windows XP with wireless access. Despite this access and connectivity, and ongoing support from their sons and grandchildren, they just haven’t developed into autonomous users of technology. They are highly dependent on so-called technicians to come in and fix their pay TV connections and update their netbook with the latest anti-spyware / malware / virus software, just in order to watch a re-run of Gilligan’s Island or send / receive the most basic of emails. Then, I am asked to come in and translate the technical version into one that’s in plain English. For the love of my parents, I’ll continue to spend countless hours attempting to explain how it all works, even though it’s to no avail.

They have now switched off. In their old world, they feel less frustrated and worry less about having to master and use technology. I reckon that’s a real pity, when my father could spend time re-navigating his Korean War naval voyages through the magic of Google Earth and chatting with long lost friends of a bygone era, whilst,  my mother could collaborate with skilled and like-mined embroiderers through the plethora of online craft communities. This is just skimming the surface in what men and women of their generation could be engaging with. Yet they remain, as the social technographics age profiles suggest – inactives (Forrester Research).

So what can change this?

iPad

I have read countless articles / blog posts / tweets arguing  the pros and cons of the iPad. Being the eternal optimist, I look for what a new device can do rather than what it can’t or should do. Having seen the promotional video several times and exploring the potential of the iPad, I for one will be going around to my parent’s home in a few months (impending Australian release) with a gift.

Only time will tell whether the iPad will reconnect and re-engage my parents with the world as it exists today.

The glass is always half-full!

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