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Using technology is not practically perfect in every way

I'm trying to keep up, but I predict rough seas ahead as boomers age. We are witnessing the struggle of technology by those of the Silent Generation and the last group of the proud Greatest Generation.

Boomer Grandpa — Loren Else column sig
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There was a bit of trouble as my wife and I attempted to gain entrance to Rochester Mayo High School's Stage Door presentation of "Mary Poppins." Just to the right of us, in another line, people were streaming in.

The smartly dressed, polite young man had difficulty scanning our tickets. We hoped this would be quickly resolved, which it was, but the reason — and it's awkward to admit — we had paper tickets!

Once we were in, I turned and watched people file in effortlessly as tickets loaded on their cellphones were quickly scanned.

I told my daughter, who was already in the auditorium, that our paper tickets caused a hiccup, and she gave me a look of disappointment. I couldn't quite hear what she said, but I believe her words were along the line of "old-fashioned," "embarrassing," or maybe she even told me to "Step in Time."

Just for the record, I have downloaded tickets on my phone before. I'm trying to keep up, but I predict rough seas ahead as boomers age. We are witnessing the struggle of technology by those of the Silent Generation and the last group of the proud Greatest Generation.

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My wife and I have elderly acquaintances who have no access to online technology, nor do they want it. They struggle to manage their landline telephone and use their cellphone sparingly. People are anxious when answering their phones. It seems we get calls daily from those trying to sell something or scam us.

For the record, I wish all levels of government would provide more resources to bring the hammer down on those who scam. Once we arrest, convict, and send them off to learn a new skill, let's provide reparations to those they scammed. "A Spoonful of Sugar" like that will make those who lived through a swindle trauma feel better.

Technology is wonderful. So much information at our fingertips. However, when the use of constantly changing technology is needed by all for daily tasks, herein is the struggle.

Scanning your own groceries – easy and a time-saver for some – is not so simple for many. For quite a few, after you need assistance for the third time in the self-check, you might tell your significant other to heck with this, "Let's Go Fly a Kite."

Accessing medical patient portals – great for most – unavailable to others. Connected scheduling, ordering, and online Social Security accounts — a snap for most, unclear to countless individuals. Many who can't figure out technology are not on a "Jolly Holiday."

Using a credit card to get out of a parking ramp is cool for some but confusing and physically difficult for a handful of folks. The term equity is used a great deal – intentional and nonintentional technology barriers face our elderly and disabled daily.

Someone attempting to figure out a new state-of-the-art parking meter might even say a string of words like "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Well, probably not that exact word.

Be an advocate for someone. In a conversation, a friend stated, "What happens to those with no advocate?" All we can do is work at keeping up, never stop learning and help each other – boomers help the generations before us – our children and grandchildren help us.

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"Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical" as performed at Mayo High School, was remarkable. Clearly, a great deal of hard work paid off. Thank you to all that assisted or were part of the production.

If you wondered about some of the words I used, I listed a few song titles from "Mary Poppins."

Another catchy Poppins tune many of us have sung or hummed over the years is "Chim Chim Cher-ee." A line in the first verse is, "A sweep (chimney sweep) is as lucky as lucky can be."

Watching and hearing not only our granddaughter but all those talented students in the play or in support rolls, we were lucky, indeed.

Loren Else lives in Rochester and also writes the Post Bulletin’s “Day in History” column. Send comments and column ideas to Loren at news@postbulletin.com .

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