Technology is whipping up a storm across all age groups, smashing the stereotype of older people being conservative and not welcoming progress

From crinkly, coffee stained letters to telegraphs, from carefully appointed phone calls to text messages, communication has come a long way, and seemingly has miles to go before it sleeps. And with technology being the unwritten order of the day in the 21st century, there’s no denying that every living soul on earth is swept by the tech wave. Well, except for grandparents, right? Wrong!

If you thought all grandparents turned up their noses in disdain every time you whipped out your phone and started furiously texting your friend, think again. While many still do believe that technology is an unnecessary luxury, there are older people everywhere embracing progress and turning to technology for communication, much to the delight of the teenagers around them. And they all have a story to tell.

Says Ramani Bhaskar (73), “Till now, I’ve seen my children and grandchildren constantly in touch with their friends on their phones, and I used the landline to make calls — till I got a smartphone. I don’t see why senior citizens can’t use it too. Since it exists, and it helps us keep in touch with our relatives all over the globe, why not? When you use the landline, you just speak to your kids abroad once a day. But with my smartphone, we send each other audio notes on Whatsapp every half an hour!” Meanwhile, Kalyani Kutty (71) feels that it is important for senior citizens to be connected technologically. She says “We all wonder if we really do need something like this, and if it really is necessary. That’s because of our age. But it is precisely at this age that it is important to feel and be connected with relatives and friends everywhere, because senior citizens tend to feel lonely. After I was gifted a smartphone, I could Skype with my daughter in the U.S on the go, and share every second with everyone, which gives me happiness. You also feel confident and independent as you keep up with the times!”

While there are many grandparents who are moving along the lines of progress and keeping pace with global trends, there are those who are quite comfortable living their lives as they did before the advent of technology. Says Govindan Nair (84), “I don’t find smartphones or laptops necessities. It’s not like we did not have social lives before phones - in fact, we had better relations because we would make it a point to actually meet people, instead of just text them. And even now, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything if I don’t have a phone. It’s not a need, it’s a luxury”.

While senior citizens themselves have very strong opinions on the tech wave that is sweeping the globe, what do the born tech savvy teenagers have to say about their grandparents using gizmos?

Says Sanjana Gupta (19), “I honestly feel there are two sides to it. It is mostly good, because my grandmother recently joined Whatsapp and she is having a great time keeping in touch with everyone and sending pictures. It makes people closer. But it also pushes people apart because with everything being virtual, people don’t bother calling each other because it’s easier to text.”

Technology sure is whipping up a storm across all age groups, smashing the stereotype of grandparents being conservative and not welcoming progress.