Yesterday my mom called me and told me that she and my dad want me to start buying both Frontline Plus and Royal Canine Veterinary Diet for their dog online at this store for them so they can save money and a little time. Naturally, I wondered why they wanted me to do it when they had a perfectly good internet connection themselves. Apparently, they’re having trouble using the shopping cart correctly, plus they’re worried about putting their credit card info on the net. I found this rather amusing, since of course they’re asking me to put my credit card info online. I imagine they figure because I already shop online, entering my numbers one more time won’t compromise them any further. Oh well.
In any case, this made me start thinking about technology and aging in general. Why is it that my folks and gran have so much trouble using their computers, when I don’t? The ready answer is that I’ve grown up with computers and newer technology. But the problem is that my mom has been working with computers much longer than I’ve been alive, and passes much more time in front of her computer than I do.
I wonder if it’s something like becoming fluent in French. The connections in the brain that allow people to hear certain sounds are only formed during the first five or so years of life. Hence, if a child doesn’t continually hear a sound, say a particular consonant sound, before a certain age, then he will never be able to hear and reproduce it properly. Perhaps our brain simply stops making technological connections as well as we age. Therefore, no matter how much time my mother spends on the computer, she’ll never quite master its intricacies because she didn’t learn them at a young enough age. For that matter, I won’t ever be able to understand the newest forms of technology as well as my kids do, no matter how much I study or how smart I am. Oh, the prospect of existence isolated in an alien world that is yet one’s own!