Vignettes on Aging – Modernization

Modernization means change.

Change can often translate into chaos for older adults who are more set in their ways. We’ve finally gotten the e-mail figured out and how to copy and paste pictures or share files across various platforms online. We have learned how to Zoom, Facetime, and pop into online classes via various other streaming services.

And yet, you and I both know, there’s more coming soon – better systems and access to those systems, faster speeds, and a wider range of viewing options – just like you’re there in person. All this modernization is progress, yet it comes at a cost. The cost doesn’t affect the younger generations that have assimilated new technology through their pores on a daily basis.

Modernization comes at a cost to those of us who didn’t grow up with technology that allows us to see and talk to someone on the other side of the earth or purchase a car or house from the comfort of our living room — all with a swift couple of keystrokes. The cost is frustration, impatience, losing hair because we’re pulling it out over the lack of our abilities, and anger. And often our prides are wounded because we think we should be able to understand new ways immediately and with ease.

It’s all worth it.

Modernization is worth the cost of most change that is provided to us in services that help make our lives better and increase longevity. We’re able these days to talk to our doctors online and, with the appropriate attached gadgets, get our heart rates, blood pressure, pulse, and blood sugar levels, all from our comfortable couches at home. Just think what the pandemic would have been like without the ability to see others and ‘be with them’ remotely. Technology allows us to read books online and see movies and take virtual tours of the great museums in Europe or have a front row seat to La Boehme at the Paris Opera House.

Modernization is worth it even when it feels like we just want to dive back into the vinyl sound of Frank Sinatra or watch an old episode of I Love Lucy and not think about anything newer than those events.

I wanted to share my view of modernization in a podcast, but I haven’t figured out how to make that happen technologically, and at the rate I’m losing hair and sleep over my inability, I’m not sure I ever will.

We may not meet every modernization goal, but I’ll keep going if you will.