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Blog #5 Tech Article

October 7, 2012

After reading this article, I can agree with some of the key points that the author addresses. I do feel some easiness about certain technologies that track the user’s movement and social activity. My concern stems from media devices that are aimed at harvesting my personal information and using it to send me advertisements about products they think I will like. This concerns me because these ads make generalizations and unfounded conclusions about my lifestyle. Since I am a young, single white male in college, I feel like a prime candidate for information gathers.

On a deeper level, communication technologies that monitor people’s life by means of social networks and tech devices are an invasion of privacy. One example from my own experience with my iPhone 4S is the maps app. This app allows access to the GPS location of my phone down to 200 meters. This concerns me because I don’t know who else is monitoring my movements and phone activities. Presumably, “Big Brother” could track me everywhere I go. This specific issue is double-sided because I like using an app that can give me directions to a place using my current location, but I am uncomfortable with the thought of who else may be observing my movements.

From this growing trend, one can see how older folks can be leery of new technologies entering the market. I personally think one of the reasons older people are fearful of new technologies is because they don’t know what they are capable of. People are fearful of the unknown. Technologies come and go so quick it’s hard even for a young man like myself to keep up on all devices and what they can do. I believe that older folks, instead of keeping up with the newest trends just give up and continue using devices they are comfortable with (my parents still have a land line and get a news paper on their door step every morning).

I can agree with the author of the article when he says “technology is created by the young, for the young”. He cites Facbook as an excellent example of this idea. As I get older, tech companies will no longer consider me a part of their target audience and stop marketing the newest products to me. It is easy to see how older people can get left behind emerging technologies when the goods are no longer marketed to them. An older person must seek out the newer technology, where as a younger person is pursued by those in corporate marketing divisions.

The issue of assimilation addressed in the article is another key point to me that divides the old and the young on tech use. Younger people are in tune with how things like touch screen tech devices work because such technology was created during their lifetime. One such example I can think of is swiping motion used to navigate up and down or change pages on new touch screen devices. It’s a very intuitive movement for young people (like flipping through pages of a magazine, but only in digital form) but may be harder for older folks to master. I feel like the youth of today have been/are being raised in the world of touch screens, while many older reluctant folks are still living in the era of push buttons and knobs.

To conclude, I feel as if most people get older they will eventually care less and less about the newest technology out there and will eventually get left behind. The author reaffirms my position by touching on the idea that everybody has a technological comfort level (equilibrium). Even at this moment there are some tech outlets that I do not use because I don’t know enough or really care enough to invest my time learning them (i.e. The Cloud, Twitter, Foursquare, Linkedin, etc.). I consider this mentality to be the root cause of people being left behind by technology. The author makes a point that I can also agree with that older people must consciously forces themselves to keep up and interact with new technologies. That being said, I believe that an older person can keep up with technology if they want to, but most choose to continue using medium they are comfortable with.

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