Young And Old, Online

from the different-experiences dept

MIT’s Tech Review has an article looking at how more and more senior citizens are going online, even if it doesn’t receive all that much attention. Apparently, marketing things to seniors online isn’t as sexy as marketing to teenagers. However, the internet has been great for many senior citizens to get things done and to communicate with family and friends. The article points out that web designers still need to learn more about designing websites for senior citizens, because most web designers are very young, and have no idea how to design for a different cohort. Meanwhile, in a contrasting article, comes yet another story about how kids have created their own IM-based language which often carries over into other parts of their life. The article discusses how younger generations always push the boundaries of spoken language, but this is the first time it’s be affected by written language as well. There’s also some concern about the constant multitasking associated with instant messaging, and how it will make attention spans even shorter.

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Comments on “Young And Old, Online”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

My (annoyed) college freshman daughter said her English Composition instructor announced on the first day;
“This is English Comp, not IM Comp. Spelling counts. Capitalization counts. Grammar counts. Punctuation counts. Sentence structure counts. IM abbreviations do not count. Yadda, yadda, you get the picture. Any questions?”

(A subsequent conversation revealed that “Mr. Old Fashioned” is in his early/mid 30’s.
So, yes, there is still hope… )

Mike R says:

Attention span

I see no problem with shorter attention spans. For years, many high paying jobs (corporate execs for one) require a person to be able to switch tasks quickly. In addition, as a 26 year old engineer, I find that I am able to handle a constant stream of interuptions much better than my older coworkers; I actually look foward to them. A generation raised on IM and video games will not be happy doing assembly line work, but, at least in the States, assembly line work is dissappearing anyway.

BTW, FWIW, this has to be the longest message I’ve sent out in the last 3 weeks… go figure. Oh and all languages evolve. We just have to deal with it!

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