Saturday, May 30, 2009

Learning Really is Lifelong

Excellent to see a couple of suggestions for my blog challenge, I'll have a go at those in the very near future.

Today I wanted to share this article with you all.  Meet Ivy Bean, a 104 year old lady from Yorkshire in the UK, who is using both Facebook and Twitter.  I've actually been following Ivy on Twitter for a few weeks now, and she's delightful.  She tweets about her day fairly regularly, and often imparts with a pearl of wisdom that to her, is just how she lives her life.

The reason I bring up Ivy Bean, the 104 social networker, is because along my campaigns to get as many of my colleagues learning new technologies and ways to find/share information, I hear a lot of "Oh it's all for young people." or "I'm not of the digital generation."

Do you think Ivy holds this attitude?  She's twice the age of most of us and so long as someone takes the time to set her up, she is jumping on in with both feet.  And as she does so, she is meeting lovely people all over the world who are enriching her life and are being enriched by her.

I do understand that for those of us between the age of about 30 and 55, computer technology was REALLY fractious and unstable back in the days when it was first hitting the mainstream market.  Personal computers died at a single keystroke (oh how the blue screen of death struck fear in my heart) and we've all cursed and cried over losing massive documents, days worth of work when a computer has failed at a crucial moment.

But those days have passed.  Technology is unbelievably  more robust than it ever was.  It is more user friendly than it has ever been.  There is more information, support, tips and tricks, and help right at our fingertips with a simple Google search.  We have more say in how the technologies we use than ever before.  You only have to look at the user generated changes to Facebook after they changed their format without consulting their users, and the feedback was bad.

There isn't really an excuse of "I'm too old" any more.  We learn our whole lives.  If we don't keep learning, we don't keep living.  And if Ivy can do it at 104, nobody else has an excuse!

Wanna hear my favourite tweet of Ivy's?

"Playing dominoes with my friend Mabel today.  She's a bit blind so I can cheat."

I hope I'm as cool as Ivy when I'm 104!

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