By Helen Gregg Ι Aug. 15, 2016
“You’re never too old …”
We hear that phrase, or used to, used in commercials to sell consumers on the desirability of eternal youth. I am using that phrase to sell you the idea that learning something new just for the fun of learning something new is FUN!
Technology is changing the world around us so fast it is almost depressing, and it can certainly leave even the most proficient pre-retirement professional feel lost post-retirement. BUT! What if each of us decided that, because we are intelligent, we accept that there is always something new to learn; that learning something new does not mean we have to be thinking in terms of preparing for a new career? What if each of us decided that we would like to know something about the technology that makes us feel lost; when at 30 years-of-age or 50 years-of-age we were the “masters of our craft,” until technology changed the world of our craft? Or brought about a whole new craft that made what we used to do obsolete? Studies show that learning new skills at any age can lead to improved emotional and psychological health.
The library is beginning a new series of programs — classes if you prefer that word — called “Computer Cruisin’ for People 60+” or if you want to be more “formal,” “Digital Literacy for Older Adults.” I think we need an adult tech playtime. Digital literacy is not about writing computer programs or becoming a computer programmer, it is about communicating using technology and understanding what other people are talking about when they talk about technology. We want to create an environment in which people like me, who simply love learning new things, can learn without feeling like we are supposed to go out and change the world! Mostly, I want to understand what the new pioneers are doing. How are the new pioneers changing the world? I love finding out that the topic I didn’t know isn’t as formidable as I thought it was, once I learned about it.
We will play with the resources available through Salina Public Library’s website as a beginning. Each of us has to come to this knowing that no one in the program knows everything about everything — even the facilitator of the program. OK?
So, what I am saying is that none of us is ever too old to learn just for the fun of learning!