Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The Technological Generation Gap
There are always 'gaps' between the generations; experiences and preferences only understood by people of a particular age. Another 'gap' is now occurring, but this time it concerns not styles and tastes, but access to technology, computer technology to be specific. The most elderly face the greatest separation, yet it affects people of varying age groups from middle age to elderly. Part of the problem concerns the ability to afford this technology. Although greatly reduced in cost from a couple of decades ago, much of the cutting edge equipment remains out of reach for many. No part of society is exempt from the frustration this brings. In the church, where the bulk of membership in some smaller, more rural parishes is to be found, this technological generation gap is being felt as denominational entities and headquarters shift to online access for services once enjoyed through the mail. For cost reasons such a shift is good stewardship. Paper and postage expenses have soared in recent years. Using online services allows an entity to offer all it once offered in the past with bonuses besides. The convenience of email and now Facebook allows denominational officials and workers to communicate with speed and efficiency never known before. Going back is simply not an option. Still, during this transitional era we must face the fact that many good church people will potentially be left behind without access to needed information without the added assistance of a more technologically savvy generation willing to step in and help. More information is available than ever before, but for too many of our people the opposite is occurring. Without the former paper trail they are being left out in the cold, looking in through a fogging computer screen they cannot comprehend.