I’m 83 – Technology isn’t for everyone.
“I’ll put it bluntly: I can’t keep up with technology. I want to take the pin out between the carriages.”
“I’ll admit, when those first televisions came out, we got one and we loved it. My old man shot down to Jerry’s Electronics and spent our holiday cash on it. Loved every minute of it. It may sound quite sad or grey but I ended up having better memories of watching television in that summer than I would have done exploring the ruins of Athens.”
“Now. My grandkids come over with their new phones – they’ve got these phones and they’re six years old – and they show me all their games. They show me their tablets where you can touch the screen, they show me how they can watch videos and films. It’s all very interesting but I don’t like it. Thom – he lives two doors down – he thinks it’s a new thing.
‘Kids are always glued to a screen with their heads down. They’re missing out on the great outdoors. They’ll be on a car journey or plane and they’re missing out on the scenery and the world passing by because they’ve got their noses down, their faces gazing at a screen!’
“I disagree, you know. With that. I spent most of my life with my nose in a book or a newspaper. I bet Thom did, too. It’s just something different you’re holding in your hand, for a different generation. Doesn’t matter. We’ve had dinner tables of silent guests who just read the paper or did the crossword. That’ll always be around and you still see the world go by.”
“But what I don’t like – what I feel is that this whole technology thing is a like a train. It’s 20 or 40 carriages long, doesn’t matter, but I’m at the back – I’m sat in the last carriage with my books and my pipe and my watch that just tells the time. People at the front are on their big screen phones, wireless ear pieces; they’re the technology masters and they’re at the front of the train.”
“There’s this pressure from my family, my friends and the younger people I work with that I have to move up the carriages, that I have to join them at the front. So, to get onto first carriage, I have to own a television. That’s okay, I enjoy that. The second carriage is a mobile phone, I can handle that. But this pressure to move onto the next carriage and have a laptop, and then the next one and have the more advanced gizmo, it gets to me. I don’t want to. It’s too much.”
“All I want to do is to take the pin out between the carriages. They carry on ahead with their pieces, their gadgets, their technological lives and I’ll just sit back, let my carriage come to a stop and I’ll carry on with my paper that tells me the news, my book that tells me a story and my watch that tells me the time.”
“I bet it’s all brilliant. Having this new world of interaction and virtual realities and that. I bet it’s great. But I’m okay missing out on it. I’ve had my time. I’m 83.”