Acceptance is Essential
By Evan Kesten
Using the computer has become second nature to me. If I need information on something, I could use the computer. If I need to book a trip, I could use the computer. If I need help with my homework, I can, of course, use the computer. Although I had the advantage of growing up with this convenience, my parents did not.
When I was just a toddler, I loved to play games from the old floppy disks. They were nothing comparable to the games available today, but they were great for their time. Since the computer was still a new device to my family, none of us had really practiced with it. My father knew someone who was good at doing things on the computer, and asked him to help us with my games. Since my father was hesitant to play around with the machine, he had about six or seven sheets of paper around it with detailed instructions on how to perform each function. When we got a new game, he would look at the corresponding sheet, and slowly get it to work. Since I was the one who used it most of the time, I slowly became accustomed it; I would no longer need my father to “make it work” for me. Now, many years later, I have come to know and understand every function in detail. My father, though, still unable to get used to the computer, takes a peek at one of his “cheat sheets” every now and then when performing simple tasks such as checking his e-mail or browsing the web.
One day, we will be just as limited.
The new technology and flow of information was not as strange as other ideas that circulated during the early days of the computer. My mom was training to become a school teacher when desktop computers were in development. A discouraging idea in her time was that there would soon be no need for teachers when the machines became more advanced; humans would become obsolete. The computer brought with it the fear that it would take over the world. Even though it was a serious concern back then, it is now laughable to the newer generations. Movies like “Terminator” and “Transformers” show how much people have changed since the introduction of the computer. We are obviously less frightened than the older generations.
The computer era threatened the values and way of life of our elders. It seemed to them that the machines were going to take over and carve their own path for the human race. They saw the computer not as a convenience, as I see it, but rather as an end of a lifestyle. I expect that later on, when I become part of the “old generation,” there will be something new that can compare to the computer, something that could instill fear and confusion in even my, modern generation.
I believe that we should accept the limitations of the older generations. One day, we will be just as limited. We must learn to accept our elders in the hopes that our children and grandchildren will do the same for us.
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