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Hacked-Off, Hacked-On

by Mark D. Crantz
by Mark D. Crantz

Every now and again I’m renewed with hope. The Indy column “Teens Help Seniors Navigate Technology,” is one such uplifting example. LBHS students have donated their time to help Susi Q seniors improve their computer skills. In turn, the seniors have donated their bank accounts and passwords to help these teenagers along.   It’s a win-win.

Cross-generational support is just what this country needs. Seniors are old and suck up resources at an alarming rate. Their insatiable need for medical care, transportation, Social Security and computer support takes away money for malls, dates and Amazon purchases. Parents are the unfortunate monkeys in the middle trying to allocate finite paychecks to these demographic bookends. One teenager moaned, “Do we have to get grandma a Christmas present?” “Yes, dear,” replied mom. The teen rolled her eyes. “Why? She won’t remember getting it and I need a phone with unlimited data, like bad.”

I don’t like computers. I don’t like phones. I yearn for the olden days of the Pony Express. Here’s how it worked, young people. I was a dashing cowboy at the time. My horse was equally dashing. Together we were double dashing and whisked romantic letters to and fro. Delivery would take weeks or months to get from one lover to the next. Deliveries were fraught with danger. There were Indians, bandits, bad lodging without points for free stays and lack of highway infrastructure funds that made deliveries dangerous at best and dead on arrival at worse. But horsy and me persevered for the sanctity of love. I remember one memorable exchange. “Do you have a letter for me,” asked an excited 16-year-old. “I do,” I answered. “Well, give it to me. “I handed over the letter. She ripped it open. “What? Blah, blah, blah. Love, Bob. Who’s Bob? Oh gosh, he was that second grader with boogers in his nose. Yuck.” I hesitated a beat to give her a chance to shake off Bob’s image and said, “Bob got a nose job. Write him back. You’ll both be 30 by the time of guaranteed delivery. I promise the years will blur your differences. It’s a match made in heaven, where few words and long distance makes the heart grow fonder.” She wrote back. Horsy was shot from under me. So, I married Bob.

But when it comes to being a senior, I’m an outlier. Seniors want to keep up with technology. It is nice that LBHS students are willing to help. I suggest going beyond the standard application advice. Seniors need to learn how to write code and then hack code to increase Social Security checks, secure free Medicare coverage and get Uber-rides for nothing. Advanced courses will teach seniors to open Wells Fargo accounts that management is cloaked from knowing anything about. Turnabout is fair play.

So, go get some technolgy seniors, but not until after your naps. Then divert enough funds so you can buy those granddaughters new phones with unlimited data. That’s rad.

 

Crantz tells the Indy that he is willing to submit columns done by quill and ink. He believes the older technology lends itself to better interpersonal bonding. Indy management believes any slow down in columns will make readers love it more. Win-win.

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