An Extraordinary Personal Health Essay
Trump's Budget and Medicare

Elders and Technology

PERSONAL NOTE: In December, freelancereporter Debbie Reslock interviewed me about my pancreatic cancer experience for the Next Avenue website. Her story was published this week and you can read it here.

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Do you use Facebook? How about Twitter? Or Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit? Have you got a smartphone? A tablet? A home assistant like Alexa maybe?

For many years, polls showed that elders' use of technology trailed way behind that of youth and younger adults. That's changed now. We're catching up.

According to the recent Technology Use and Attitudes among Mid-Life and Older Americans report from AARP, more than 90 percent of Americans age 50 and older own a desktop or laptop, 70 percent own a smartphone and more than 40 percent own a tablet.

Here's a chart showing device usage by the 50-and-older cohort. (Larger version here [pdf] – scroll down to page 7)


As the report explains:

”Traditional activities dominate computer use for adults over 50, but a sizeable minority are using their device to manage medical care or learn online.

“Among those who own such devices, top activities include surfing the internet, making purchases, getting news, and banking.

“Adults 70+ do fewer activities on their computers than those under 70, with a couple exceptions such as gaming (over half play games on their computer) and email.”

According to another factoid, apparently I am not keeping up by abstaining from texting:

”Nine in ten (91%) of those with devices say they use technology to stay in touch with friends and family.

“Among those under 70, text messaging has overtaken email as the tool most used to stay connected, though most use three channels (email, texts, and social media).”

In addition, 72 percent of the 50-plus crowd use some form(s) of social media - 75 percent of those age 50-69; 65 percent of people 70 and older.

Most frequent online activities start with email (68%), browing the internet (63%), getting weather (63%) and checking social media (58%). It looks like not many of us are dating which comes in dead last on the activities list at one percent.

Me? Well, I'm not dating online (or anywhere else) but if you don't count texting, most of my life is online. I read a large number of news, information and opinion sites, fool around on YouTube and other video websites, email, weather, banking, bill paying, Skype, track all my medical information (including making appointments, asking questions, etc.), shopping, research for this blog and for personal curiosity, not to mention writing and coding the blog, track down podcasts and music – and I'm certain I've left out more.

One other thing: unlike the 58 percent of 50-plus Americans who spend time with social media, I use Facebook and Twitter ONLY as automatic distribution channels for TimeGoesBy - which accounts for my lack of response to readers who leave comments and questions on Facebook.

My goal is to spend less time online, not more, but that's not going well.

It is gratifying to see the growth of internet use by old people. So much of our lives is moving online that a growing amount of important and/or useful information is not even available anywhere else. Note the growing number of times you see in print such directives as “For more information, visit our website at ...” whether we like it that way or not.

It is the oldest old who either do not use the internet at all or use much less of it than younger people but that will change as they (we?) die off.

So, your job to day is to tell us how you use the internet, what you like, what you don't like, what you wish you could change and your thoughts in general on how the internet has become such a large part of daily life.

Here are links to the Technology Use and Attitudes among Mid-Life and Older Americans report from AARP:

Full report (lots of charts)


Good morning Ronni.

I'm not much of a techie. I don't have a TV anymore so the first thing I do in the a.m. is grab a mug of something and turn to my only computer, a desk top. In this order, I check
email, local news, weather, obituaries, national news and Rattle's poem of the day.

I don't use any social media. I write, poetry and essays, so I do a lot of research. I'll check out things I'm thinking of buying but don't buy online. I don't bank online or do anything that requires personal info even though I know it's already on other computer systems like hospitals, etc.

When necessary stuff is over, I play a few favorite games as a reward. Currently I'm in the process of getting an updated system. I just wrote a poem, Me Vs Computer with Linux, which details why I need one.

It's been about 3/4 of a century since I could change a real on a movie projector or replace a typewriter ribbon faster than most.

I forgot a most important part of my p.c. routine. I check TimeGoesBy right after national news.

I use the internet a lot--on smartphone, tablet--laptop--and wear a fitbit (age 73) for motivation. I count Alexa and Echo among my friends. I like it because: any time a question comes up with my spouse, a friend, or myself, I can google it and find an answer, if not THE answer. Since I subscribe to news sites, I like getting instant news, as bad as it may be. I like seeing what's going on in my friends' and family's lives on facebook. I like posting tons of photos on FB, as I'm doing right now following a trip to Cuba. I like watching various videos and sometimes movies and can learn a lot from them. I like being able to order whatever I need or want with a few taps of the keys. I love being able to play Words with Friends or Solitaire before going to sleep. I love the internet! Thought I've a Twitter account, I don't use it as haven't felt the need; neither have I used instagram or snapchat--they just seem excessive. I do text on occasion and use instant messaging.

During the Cuba trip, however, I went through a 10 day internet/computer fast and loved that too. Whereas my roommate was always trying to find a place to connect, I was most happy to be electronics-free, including telephone.

I don't like the tons of ads, the fake news sites which continually pop up, trolling, the concern that I might be hacked. Since I'm able to go without it without pain, I feel the internet and I have a pretty good balanced relationship!

Maybe it's because I taught technology as a high school business teacher for 21 years. Maybe it's because I love to stay connected to friends and family, even in retirement. Maybe it's because I am extremely curious about what is going on in the world. Whatever the reason, I LOVE technology and all it offers me.

I use social media every day, actually more like every hour. Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. I check them all regularly and post often.

We still have a landline phone because it's the number on all of our financial records and it connects to our home alarm system. We are still listed in the phone directory so no matter when you knew us, you could still connect with us.

We both have iPhones and have had them for 9 years. I use my iPhone as a computer when i'm away from home (and when home, too), always looking up things such as maps, weather, and news. I check in with all that social media. I take photos constantly. And, I text. I prefer texts to phone calls or emails.

I really want a self-driving car. I don't yet see a need for an Alexa but perhaps when I'm older. By then Alexa, or her replacement, should be able to do more and more as I will be able to do less and less. My husband hates the idea because they can be so easily hacked. (He's a retired computer programmer and devotes his life to computer security issues.)

I'm on my notebook computer at least several hours / day, checking news sources, time goes by (of course), Facebook (love hate relationship here), doing odd-ball investigations, on-line shopping/bill paying/banking, and occasionally trying to track down old friends out of curiosity "what ever happened to" person du jour that might come to mind--I should have been a private detective. Mobile device serves the basics when not at home or at a wireless hot spot.

I worked in high technology sales for 40 years where electrical engineering was a requirement, although I was a Spanish Literature Major, and absorbed by osmosis a lot of technical skills and interest in computers, so I also like to keep them running without help, if I can because I like that challenge. I can't fix a leaky faucet, however, so I try to tell myself that in this computer age, I should count my blessings and not cry over lack of mechanical skills.

My mother who passed away in 2002 at 86 years old, warned me about germs coming in the mail--as she was told by her friends, computer virus of course, but she had no clue and she was clearly spared the digital age. Was she better off? I sometimes think so as she was a former farm girl from Nebraska and well skilled at old fashioned communications and loved to write letters and simply visit with friends. Now look at me (us)!!

Now, one of my biggest fears, moving forward, is how in the heck will I ever keep up with all of today's computer driven internet chores when I begin to lose my edge? I'll need to find both standard home care plus a digital assistant, I suppose. Cross that bridge when I come to it.


This post turned up at a bad techy moment for me as I have just spent half an hour trying to sort out what had gone haywire in the automatic feed between my blog and Facebook. For the moment it is working ... but I am not confident. This sort of thing is when I hate the tech world.

Basically, I like to use my laptop to investigate sights and subject matter that I choose. In consequence I loath Facebook and Twitter which show me a meaningless incoherent stream of this and that. I only drop in on them because people I love are there (and FB for quick notice of resistance events). And I only use them on my laptop.

I use my iPhone for very limited uses: to play podcasts and audiobooks, for maps and public transit info, oh, and as a phone. I've got email and Facebook and all the rest set up on the phone, but try not to use it for that.

When I'm on the computer, I try to be on the computer on my terms. I still read many books in hard copy! Guess I have a lot of fuddy-duddy in me.

I guess I'm hooked! I do all the things mentioned but abstain from online dating (I have a wonderful partner. I don't need anyone but him!) And Twitter. I won't tweet! Lol

I spend a LOT of time online reading the news, posting on political debate sites, writing and reading blogs. I go to FaceBook once or twice a day just because younger people in the family post baby pictures, etc., but it's not one of my favorite places because you also learn too much about your family and friends and their political positions. I have an Instagram and Twitter account but I rarely use them. I check my bank accounts but don't do banking per-say online. I also don't do gaming other than play solitaire on occasion. I use email mostly to keep in touch with three social groups I belong to. Oh, and I shop online. How could I forget my addition to Amazon!

Though you didn't ask, I text with family and once I started texting our communications have's the way young people prefer to keep in touch so if you want to hear from family more often, bite the bullet and learn to text!

If I didn’t text or use Facebook I would not be in contact with my daughter and her family. They NEVER answer the phone and limit their Facebook updates. My grandson loves his grandpa’s car because it has WiFi. We get the weekend paper delivered but use the electronic versions during the week to reduce paper.

I have a desktop I rarely use, a laptop, iPad, iPhone, and Kindle. I’m 77 and text with family and a few friends, check Facebook daily, have Twitter but don’t use it. I play games on my tablet. I research question with whatever appliance I’m using. Most of my friends have computers and smart phones. I was an early adopter of computer technology but have slowed down. Im not interested in a watch or Alexa. I spend way too much time now staring at a screen.

At 71 I am a tech old fart. I used punch cards and paper tape input. I used 8 inch floppy disks. I used computers that would fill the first floor of my house today. These days, I can still read program source code, use Linux, windows and MacOS. I provide remote help to friends and family. I use Feedly to keep track of new entries on websites because it saves time. Alexa controls my entertainment so I don’t have 10 remotes laying around. Facebook has outlived its usefulness. Twitter was useless it’s first day in public. I manage a couple of local community organization websites. I catch my news and state of the world each morning on my iPad. I publish a paper directory from my Windows laptop.

Tech has always been part of my life. I also have kids, adult now. I teach tai chi. I belong to a hiking club. I volunteer at an association that maintains trails at a local park. I work on a garden that’s been written up in magazines and been on tours. And people crab at me because I don’t carry,y cell phone everywhere I go. I can’t let tech rule my life.

I do not text nor have a smart phone.

I make tags, work on photo's in Paint Shop Pro and I also blog now and again. A lot of my work is Paint Shop related as I don't draw any more. I have a desk top and I eat at my computer while reading so my key board is constantly being cleaned. That isn't working well. lol

All of a sudden I can't scroll and either use the arrow keys or that nuisance on the side bar. New battery in my mouse did nothing. :-)

Technology is my friend. Because of macular degeneration, reading print books does not feel as comfortable as it used to. I can increase the font size on my computers. I've got a laptop to take traveling and a great big desktop so I can see my photographs well. I'm a photographer and writer. Couldn't live without my wonderful Apple. I make videos for Youtube, which takes up less space than photo albums. I do just about everything financial on-line and write a lot using email. I submit photographs and essays on-line.

Have an iPhone which I use as a camera, GPS and just about anything but a phone.

I stream Acorn, Amazon, PBS, Netflix, NPR, and Pandora using a Roku. Rarely watch "live" TV.

I don't like Twitter but use Facebook a lot to learn what my friends are doing and where they are. I belong to several nature and photography facebook groups and have talented photographer friends who inspire me with their creativity. I hear about wonderful concerts and art events to attend and contests to enter.

I read news on-line because I have more control over what I am exposed to compared to watching even PBS shows on TV. I download podcasts via iTunes, mostly about science, photography and nature but I also enjoy hearing stories like The Moth and New Yorker.

When I am going to a free concert, I send a notice to ten people who live in my building, asking if anyone wants to go with me. The first three who write back go. I have no patience for people my age who say, "Oh no, I don't do email or use a computer." They are missing so much.

For my volunteer work in gun violence prevention, we use a new app that enables us to send personal texts to 100 or so other volunteers in about 20 minutes. As soon as I begin sending the prewritten but editable messages out (each addresses the person by name and includes my first name), I begin getting texts back from them in the app. They do not have my personal number because it goes through the app, which protects me from trolls.

Before we had to call all these people and leave messages, hoping they got them. Now I know right away who wants to attend an event and can text them the pertinent info without playing phone tag. We have to be careful not to publicly post the locations of our meetings due to armed "guests" who like to intimidate us!

The group I volunteer with started as and still is a Facebook group. We now have more members than the NRA and are changing gun laws in states and (eventually) at the federal level. So whoopee for technology!

Has anyone watched Neflix's Halt and Catch Fire? It's an excellent, 4-season series about the beginning of The Internet of Things, set in the 80's. I realized, watching those 20-and 30-somethings in "1983", and realized that was us! Not only were we once that young and beautiful, but WE started it all.

I learned to type on a key-punch machine in the early 70's. I jumped onto AOL and on a cell phone as soon as they were "things." Although I'm no techie, I'm an early adapter, pedaling very hard and fast to keep up. My office job lets me take the old "paper ways" into "cloud ways," but I know more about those ancient, necessary programs like Word and Excel than anyone here. Oh, and I know how to spell without spell check, and I know where to put punctuation, which cannot be said for ANYONE here under 40.

Ordering online - ordering EVERYTHING online - has saved me in the last 14 months after spinal surgery. I rarely go to stores anymore, and love it. Order 5 cases of cat food, a 28 pound bag of litter, 12 rolls of paper towels, a used book on turquoise from Goodwill, new pajamas, and have them all dropped at my door 2 days later, with no shipping cost? I've had worse addictions.

I use my cell phone for almost everything, and my laptop for when I can't stand the tiny virtual buttons. I don't like Alexa, as I simply don't like to talk (well, unless it's to a cat.) I think Facebook tears more people apart than brings them together, and if I was ever going to Tweet...well, not going into that flaming t.Rump territory now. Pinterest is too much fun, saving pictures of food I'll never cook and quilts I'll never sew. Banking - all online; I don't even have paper checks any longer.

Funny this was your post today. I'm almost 75. I spent a couple hours yesterday morning swearing loudly at my laptop because I was trying to get my Cuba pictures into a format I could use to share them with my new desk top that doesn't have a slot for the camera "card." Damn!

My 50+ son arrived to help me check out a car and within 15 minutes he had the pictures where I want them. Damn again! He suggested "Mom, the computers are trying to move you totally into the Microsoft domain, and you should let them." Damn, damn, damn. I'll got to the library next tech help day to see what that means and figure out how to do it.

I dumbly at times, use a smarter than I phone, I love texting because it is non-invasive for my kids who work all day and chatting off and on all day with a faraway friend, sometimes my Nook for reading and games, Pinterest for recipes and other rabbit hole entertainment, and Facebook for grandkids. I also use my computers for contact with my medical team and for research and the news and a wide range of reading interests. I love it for contact with my library to reserve books and to find books on any number of sites. I don't have TV so watch movies and public TV on the computer. Clearly it is an integral part of my life.

One of my dad's sorrows in his 90's and blindness was his inability to no longer use the computer for email and writing his stories.

Interesting interview. Thanks for that.

The internet...ahh, love it! I've been online since 1995, when there was less space on a hard drive than on a usb or iphone; when dial-up was charged by the time you spent online! Ha, what an era.

The positive back then was that it seemed the users were educated, intelligent, articulate. Not a blanket statement, just what I thought. There were NO ads, no commercialization at that point. Email was a wonderful way to communicate. I learned to code HTML, designed my own webzine for my prose and poetry, as well as other writers' submission. And kept it up for at least ten years.

As the years passed, I noticed the commercialization in real time; a gradual trend that has now caused popups and distraction to the point you are barely able to read an article (but at least not on this site, thanks!). Plus, the more people who came online, it seemed the level of discourse went from interesting, open debate to shouting (in all caps) matches and the antagonism kept ratcheting up. Today, the original internet is hardly recognizable, especially with the advent of Facebook and social media, not to mention smartphones.

And yet, I still LOVE it! I can choose to tune out what I don't like, even though I do sometimes look at sites that have opposite political viewpoints just to see what is going on. I use Facebook for family updates, as well as my author following. I have been able to publish my fiction independent of a publisher via Amazon KDP. Even had a bestseller! So along with the bad comes the good.

Before the internet, I was mainly an introvert, bookish; but I always had penpals the old-fashioned way via the postal system. When I first got online, it was as if the internet had been designed just for us introverts/nerds who met like-minded people without meeting face-to-face.

Now I do almost everything online: banking (auto-pay bills); buy things (a lot via Amazon); research for my stories; communicate with friends; on and on. Every now and then, it does concern me that IF we ever lose access to the internet...a serious collapse will occur. The younger generations that grew up with tech simply have no idea how to function without it...and that, I guess, is the downside.

I decided years ago that Facebook is evil and our personal information is their product (they sell or give it to associates). Suspicions confirmed when the FTC slapped them with penalties for privacy violations some years ago. Anyway, my blog posts go automatically to Facebook and Twitter, but other than that I don't use social media. Phone, texting, and email keep me in touch. I treasure my laptop (sofa so much more comfortable than chair with desktop), my TV, and my Xbox. Still have a landline phone to insure 9-1-1 location and to have extensions throughout the house.

Got a Google Home for Christmas and instantly bought another one. It's best function is being able to call my son with a voice command. So if "I've fallen and I can't get up" I can still call him. I look forward to the day it will also control a new Nest thermostat and Ring doorbell with camera. Also keeping an eye out for a watch that will call 9-1-1. Except for groceries and prescriptions I buy everything online (and those can be ordered online if I want).

That's about it. Loss of any of these devices or my internet connection would constitute an extreme emergency requiring an immediate visit from my son (my expert tech support).

P.S. I also conduct a lot of personal business, correspondence, and banking online.

When I was in school, art, at the University of Washington so was my father who was getting his biology PHD. I helped him program and run data for his thesis using the UW 's computer of unusual size not the relatively tiny things we have now. Being in college with your father is another story. After graduation I became a illustrator at an airplane company, the only art jobs I could find would not feed and house me. Then my job went to computer and I went back to school and became a programmer, it paid a lot more and my art became my avocation and side business.

In the 80's I bought a used Commodore. Me and my kids have not without since. I got one of the first cell phones, not quite the size of a satellite phone but close. I now have two cells phone (one for visiting kids) and two laptops (also one for the kids), one for me only. I retired my workstation last year, space issues. I mostly text. My three distant sisters and I have a 4-way permanent text group. Someone posts several times a day. We chat while stuck in doctor's waiting rooms, shopping (with pictures), weather such as pictures of all our homes views of snow piling up in the yard. Videos from parties. Rants about whatever. We're starting to talk about our parents now. That's been an eye opener.

Now I'm 75 and texting is my main thing and a line to my grandkids especially the ones away at college. And last week post-Florida when every cop within miles showed up at our high school, I heard immediately from all my grandgirls there and found out it was someone's idea of a "prank."

Online I read news and have a subscription to the New York Times, BBC and read the international news. I read the online papers in my grandkid's college towns and their school papers. I use FB, read blogs, but don't post much anymore. I shop almost everything online, clothing, kids gifts, furniture except local artisans and crafts people online. No food, I like to hand pick out my food. My order my RX and get them filled online; my MD is very responsive to email saves me and her phone calls and sometimes extra appointments. No twitter, no tablets but I'm researching tablets. I take my AARP driver's class online as well as many other classes. Right now I'm working my way through two histories of China. And surprisingly I find myself listening to music online most of the time, very handy, and NPR radio. I get these on my phone as well and I love my GPS.

No Alexa or the like. For whatever reason I can't stand the buttinsky voice on my phone or Cortana on my laptop. The idea of something else yapping at me isn't attractive.

Interesting topic.

I have two laptops, one new, the other refuses to die.

Also an old HP mini with Linux. Use it at the library.

My iPad goes where I go. Research, news, writing, email, looking up people, videos, music, books, reviews.

Love Reddit- I read, but don't comment.

I know how to use Facebook and Twitter, am not into it.

Cell phone for texting, calling family.

I try to stay in the moment during these turbulent political days.

I didn't blog last couple months- traveling.

Am back in Montreal.

Snow is melting fast.

A big shout out to everyone we met on our Montreal - SPI, Texas road trip.

We witnessed many random acts of kindness along our route.

VIrginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Georgia.

South Padre Island Winter Texans.

Where have you been all my life?


Thanks for pointing out this resource. Always helpful to have new data. This conforms to Joseph Coughlin's ideas in

    The Longevity Economy.

I'm 74 and go back a long ways in technology. I use it now to secure remote contracts with selected clients whom I never meet, where there's only a digital trail and no paper and I get paid by EFT.

I also use the PM or DM feature on FB to communicate instantaneously with relatives and friends.

I play around 12 games of Scrabble on line daily.

I update my own blog.

And I read newspapers and other blogs.

Facebook has given me much needed help for many years when I put out an SOS to others. But I think that's a peculiarity of this huge province with its tiny population where literally everybody is on FB like a tribe.

I use Twitter to tweet outrage periodically.


Another early adapter here, starting in 1980 with an Apple 2+, but changing over to the PC mode soon, becoming way to familiar with DOS and then versions of Microsoft. But always a "user" not a programmer. yep, then came Prodigy and later AOL.

Photoshop, Word, Publisher, those are my go-to programs. And like others in this thread, I do lots of business and research via computer. There's about 1100 books on my ereader. I don't use Facebook but did for about a year before pulling that plug.

Drawback? About a month ago my desktop died, resurrection didn't work and a new one will come soon. Unfortunately while I had a fine backup it industriously saved the glitches that killed the computer, so about 15 years of digital art may be lost

Nevertheless until the grid goes down, I'm in it for the long haul. Even when writing this screed on a little ereader!

I'm 75 and love my Mac computer and iPhone 8. I have an account on Facebook because I had to have one at one point in time. But I might check it once a year. When I do I remember why I don't like it and don't use it. I have never tweeted, used instagram or any other social media (figuring they'd be even more disagreeable than Facebook).

I recently had my email account hijacked by Google Drive because my Google account had "filled it to capacity." They would gladly accept my paying for more room. In the mean time I could neither send nor receive email until I either deleted files or paid for more storage. Investigating has turned up the fact that Google Drive is backing up and synching everything I put in my computer and counting that against my email account storage. So far I've found no way to turn off "back up and synch" app because "it is in use." A CATCH 22 to make sure you never get out of Google Drive's tentacles FOR SURE! So far it looks like I have to entirely get out of Google Drive if I want to stop this insanity. All I ever wanted was an email account ...

I encountered the same type of Google situation when I was in Apple's iCloud and I got out of iCloud. Google Drive (another cloud) is even more insidious because it isn't transparent about what it is doing or how to just have what you want (as opposed to what they want) in your cloud.

I use my smartphone mostly to play PokemonGO, to make phone calls, to take wonderful photos, to keep my calendar and reminders straight, to use GPS on auto trips, occasionally to read a Kindle book, or identify a bird or plant by apps for that purpose. Though I could, I don't use my phone to deal with email. I use my computer for that.

I love that my computer can search for any info I might inquire about and give me multiple answers in seconds. I love that I can see how to do almost anything on YouTube. I love that I can compose letters, poetry and prose more elegantly than in the old paper and pen days. I love that I can store my photos on it, download what I want on it and upload what I want on it, as well as store the files I want to keep on it.

So I actually love both my phone and computer and I hate all forms of CLOUD at least as they exist now.

My relationship with technology is a mixed bag. I have a trusty 5+ Y/O desktop that I enjoy using (nice big screen and clear pics) but, when it goes belly up, I may replace it with a laptop or notebook--not sure since I don't really need to be "mobile" with my communications. I've used the internet since the '90s.

I own and use a smartphone, but my life is NOT on my phone. I text, usually briefly, but don't bank or do anything involving personal info--too easy to hack, IMO. Unlike most under-40s, who would be at a complete loss without theirs, I function quite well without mine. Remembering to keep the &*#@ thing charged is a nuisance, too.

I have Facebook and Twitter but not Instagram or Snapchat. I don't much like the commercialization of the internet (SO different than it was 20 years ago), and The Orange Apparition's "government by tweetstorm" is disgusting. What a degradation of the office! I use FB mostly to keep up with various cat rescue/rehoming and political groups. With multiple generations, I couldn't begin to keep up with the family's ubiquitous FB activity so don't even try. I already spend WAY too much time online reading, looking up info and responding to email.

If the internet should go dark for a significant period of time, 70+ adults just might keep the world turning. Among other things, we can: write, punctuate and spell (whole words); use a typewriter, calculator, fax and plain old copier; set up and use filing systems, take phone messages, conduct face-to-face conversations, etc., etc.

Technology offers many advantages and conveniences that I like and would not want to give up--but some aspects, not so much.

Like dkzody and others, I'm a tech person, having worked as a technician at Ma Bell for 30 years..on analog lines maybe, but that was the then.

I quit all social media about 3 years ago, including reddit, Quora, Facebook & Instagram.

When my grand daughter went to Southeast Asia 8 months ago, I loged back on to FB to keep in touch, but I was very glad to miss the election madness that consumed FB-my daughter told me about it.

I'm a Mac person-I have an iPhone, an iPad that I use as an e-reader also & a MacBook Air laptop that I love. Sold the desktop when I moved into the small ADU apartment my daughters family and I built on the large lot I've lived on for 45 years. Tore down the old house, built a new one.

We have Echo to remind and help keep up on staples we need (Amazon Prime), use Alexia and I use Siri on my iPhone-but for me she's a guy with an Australian accent. I call him Biff.

My son in law works from home online as a programmer for Square, the online credit card reader--yeah if it doesn't work, it's Brian's fault.

So our house is wired with uber high speed internet/wifi. I have done MMORPGames but no longer do-too much bandwidth that takes away from Brians ability to work.

We stream Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix all the time. As my eyesight is poor and reading sometimes an effort I listen to Audible books frequently. Or Pandora music.

And, when I was ill, I called Uber to take me to doctors appointments. At the new rate of $2.99 a ride for pool rides, It's cheaper than driving and paying to park.

I use Fred Meyers Clicklist to order groceries often-just pick them up when I want, or Uber will do it for me. Better than Safeway deliveries.

Were totally tech here-I can set my thermostat from my iPhone -down if I'm out for the day and warm the apartment up when I'm on my way home.

We use solar panels for electricity and donate the extra electric to the poor who have difficulty meeting winter electric bills-they no longer buy back excess electricity.

I play games, but also do brain training on my iPhone with apps like Fit Brain.

And if I can't sleep and my own meditation training docent help I open a meditation app to help guide me into sleep.

I also signed back on to Quora when I was down last summer-I joined when it was new, but took a several year break. Quora is a Q&A site and I enjoy writing and sharing my personal knowledge about lots of things..all the stuff we know because never been there before-and I learn a lot by reading others answers.

Its a great time passer for those who are sedentary.

The internet is indispensable for everyone, inclu. us older people, for research and communication. How else would I know what the weather is going to be? How else could I talk to my kids? But as for social media? IMHO it's mostly garbage. The news, information and opinion you get from facebook, twitter et al. (except, of course, for well-reasoned blogs like Time Goes By and Sightings Over 60) mostly caters to the lowest common denominator which, (again imho) accounts for a lot of the hate and discord we see in America today.

A quote from a book I wrote about advertising and baby boomers in 2005:

“The computer/internet ethos for most Baby Boomers is that they pick and choose what technology they want to use, buy, or install. Some are all over Skype, video and music uploading and downloading, research, education, travel planning, shopping—while eschewing blogging, communities, and web page design. Or it’s the other way around. Or variations thereof. When it comes to new technology, most Baby Boomers learn only about what interests them, what they believe will be useful. They don’t feel the need to know everything there is to know about technology, computers, and the web.”

I've had an iMac since 2000. Love it. Love my iPod touch. I use an Android smartphone. I do online banking, shopping and probably too much surfing. I remember when it took 45 minutes to download a website from the internet. I use to keep a nailfile next to my Mac.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In the early days of my computer usage, I learned HTML code and had personal webpages (remember angelfire?) and kept up a blog for an animal sanctuary.

I read my hometown newspaper on Kindle.

I get annoyed with older people who don't have computers or smartphones.

Chuck, that quote describes me, for sure. Latest and greatest tech? I feel I've "been there, done that, got the t-shirt." I did it enough. I'll try new things out, and keep them if they suit my needs, but I have no impulse any more to prove anything to anyone.

We don't have a TV. I have a desktop iMac with a nice big screen, a laser printer, an external drive set to Time Machine, and an external DVD drive. That's where I spend most of my time, banking, doing product research, and following news, videos, blogs, a text game, and a regular round of webcomics. I chat with friends via google hangouts, and have been using google docs and gmail heavily for many years. The search function is like a supplemental memory... socially, I don't know how I'd get along without it. The spreadsheets are how I track my life -- I have one where I've weighed myself every morning since May 2012.

I use social media very little. I don't want a Twitter account, and I imagine the Facebook account I made way back when the thing was first starting is long deleted.

I have an iPhone 6+, which I use for photos, FaceTime, scanning important documents I don't want to lose... and lately, for capturing my blood oxygen levels. I am still working out how to turn that data into something meaningful in a spreadsheet, so I (and my doctor) can see longer-term trends.

I spend a lot of time online--follow people on Twitter, Instagram, and FB. I mostly go on FB to access 2 private groups but do give my general timeline a quick look a couple of times a day. More likely to be on Twitter. I stay in touch w friends near and far by phone, email, FB, video calls, and texting. I do online banking, some online shopping. I watch streaming video on several platforms, access music on YouTube. I use my iPhone mostly for phone, texting, and camera--and quick checks of email. Otherwise, if I'm at home, I use my laptop. All of this can be a great procrastination/distraction tool (I'm a writer/editor).

Much as I love the internet for all kinds of information, and e-mail for keeping in touch, I'm not really a screen person, so this is all I do. I may get another printer for art stuff. When my computer goes down, I have some panic and withdrawal, and think about that, and then enjoy the greater degree of simplicity. Did Facebook for a short time, and it wasn't for required a computer tech to disengage me, hmmmmm.

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