Nobody teaches a toddler how to use a phone today, they grow accustomed to it. Born into the lap of technological advancements, today’s generation has befriended technology. As humans and technology work hard to make each other smarter every second, we might miss out those who were born a little before this rapidly growing technology.
‘Smart Seniors’ a social initiative by ResPublica Consulting conducts classes across Kochi with the aim of empowering the aged with smartphones. As the demand for it increases in the city and media across the globe has reached out with queries, the team has decided to expand their area of action. The expert panel of ResPublica Consulting conducts the sessions with a set module. Training is provided for the basic functions like text messaging to advanced functions like paying bills online, booking an online taxi and using social media platforms.
“Is Uber available on this phone?”. “Does Whatsapp facilitate video-calling?”. “Can I see my grandchild through this?”. “Is it true that electricity bills can be paid through mobile phones? Can you teach me how?”. “How do I schedule an Uber ride for tomorrow?”. “How do I create a Whatsapp group?”. The doubts seem never-ending but if taught with a little patience, it could make their life easier and independent.
The aged might have all access to these technologies; they might own the latest smartphone with advanced features as well. Nevertheless, most of them use their phones merely to place calls and to attend them. With little technological assistance to help them stay connected with their friends and family, life after the retirement of these seniors could be definitely made more joyful.
With an ever progressive information highway and with the traffic flow on the Internet rising every minute, even Intel has taken to developing a new communications platform along with equipment managers and service providers to make data processing more efficient. Code named Crystal Forest, it aims to provide Mobile Internet Devices faster and easier communication infrastructure without comprising security.
Intel also stated that while the number of MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) is now equal to the global population, the number of networked devices will be twice the number in 2015. While this mushrooming growth may seem a sure sign of Internet accessibility and information control, there also arises another issue. Nearly 640 GB of data is said to pass through the network during any one given minute. This staggering figure is nothing compared to what it looks like broken down- 204 million emails, 20 million photos, i.3 million videos on YouTube and so on.
There is a high risk of our information pathways crashing down unless the next generation developments they are subjected to can strengthen them and assure expansion and security sans interruption. More on this one minute story on What Happens in an Internet Minute!
Quite recently 12 year old Zach Marks from Florida created a kid-friendly and safe site solely for kids. After being banned from Facebook for creating and maintaining profiles behind his parents’ back, Marks enlisted the help of family members and friends to begin www.GromSocial.com, a social networking site of his own where kids could engage in activities that were suited to their ages. According to the makers, social networking if used in the right way can help kids to interact with friends, express creativity, learn, and safely experiment with online identities. Parents need not be concerned about privacy and age- inappropriate content, problems confronted on a regular basis on mainstream sites such as Facebook and Twitter. With anti-bullying, anti- drugs and anti- smoking policies, the site has appealed to parents too. Children must sign in with a parent and adults cannot join without a child either. The creators have not begun thinking of the financial aspects of such a commercially viable site. So far it’s been a “labour of love”
Futurist Alvin Toffler’s shortest definition for the term “Future Shock” is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time“. His gripping book of the same name, published in 1970, describes a surreal universe that moves the reader and his/ her imagination too quickly for comfort. Back to GromSocial, is it Facebook Junior? Is it the new Facebook? Be it as child friendly as it claims to be, can it remain completely immune to unscrupulous individuals who strive to lead children astray? When the natural course for tweens and teens is to play outdoors and develop interpersonal relationships with their peers and counterparts, is GromSocial a healthy choice after all?
Zach Marks, Creator of Grom.Social.com
The site has drawn plenty of flak from child counselors and psychologists for the same reasons. And yet, would it be right to deny social networking access to the net- savvy kids of tomorrow when it has become so commonplace after all? From Lego blocks to tapping keys and watching viral videos and rating the level of crassitude, the world’s progressing alright. Brace yourselves, the Future Shock waves are right here…