Being a Smart Ass About Seniors and Smartphones.


The thing about smart phones is you have to have some smarts to use them. I’m not talking about intellectual smarts. I’m talking about smarts born from growing up with technology. Which most people over the age of 60 have not.

Watching my husband (age 66) text on his smartphone is like watching someone play “Whack-a-Mole” at Dave & Buster’s. He stabs at the keyboard with his index finger, like the force of pressure will somehow mitigate mistakes or more adamantly make his point.

There’s also the mature adult in the doctor’s office waiting room who doesn’t know how to turn his ringer down. When the phone goes off, it’s like someone pulled the fire alarm. Even though said person wears hearing aids. This same person also answers the phone at a decibel level that lets everyone know he’s still alive and kicking. It’s not “talk to you later” it’s “talk to you louder.” And worse, he keeps talking and talking and talking—even though no one wants to hear about his recent colonoscopy.

Not long ago I was waiting for a flight to board at the airport. There was a woman with a Bluetooth headset on going on ad nauseum about some B-O-R-I-N-G business deal. It wasn’t a short conversation. In fact, it went on for more than an hour. The people sitting around her looked like they were in the throes of a massive migraine. Did she pick up on it? No. She just kept jacking her jaws, full of false self-importance. We all wanted to grab her phone and stomp on it. I just wanted to grab her and stomp on her mouth.

There is one good thing seniors are doing for the mobile phone industry. Since they have a tough time with smartphones they’re keeping the flip phone business alive. Apparently, it’s easier to use. But texting is a bitch. Maybe this will help keep them all off the phone.