SENIORS: Alphabet under threat?

As the summer progresses we continue to enjoy each other’s company at the centre and welcome the newcomers as they realize...

As the summer progresses we continue to enjoy each other’s company at the centre and welcome the newcomers as they realize… hey, it’s not really an old fogies’ place at all. Just watch them do that Zumba!

Activities this month included a large contingent of our members boarding the Frances Barkley for a west coast excursion to Ucluelet.  We also held a pancake breakfast mid-month and coming up we have a picnic at the beach and an open house in conjunction with the Regional District of Nanaimo-sponsored Active Aging Week. The members’ garage sale will wait until early October.

As our modern world continues to move on so relentlessly is it time to ask whether there are some aspects that cause seniors (maybe one day we should find another word to describe ourselves, perhaps hold a competition?) a little bit of headshaking and to use expressions of “Bah, Humbug.”  What about the increasing use of acronyms. For example, AMA does it means American Medical Association or the Alberta Motor Association?  The COC, obviously the Canadian Olympic Committee; but wait a second, what about the Canadian Opera Company?  Yes, we could all go on about this and some of us don’t have Wikipedia to turn to, so let’s just enter it as one of our genuine beefs.

Now for the second and the big one — which is about all the new technology and the many items available, some of which will be updated next year. Sure we may like to feel a bit young and cool, but do we have to wear the darn thing on our wrists?  In any case, we can’t go back to being seven years old and being experts at texting.  At this point can we ask, is our alphabet under threat? Abbreviations becoming so popular that we are left scratching our heads — and also battling with modems, PVRs, DVRs, remotes, and, of course, long waits on the phone for assistance (but hey, the music is nice).

Of course, it could be argued that as a group our reactions are somewhat strong and that we should remember and appreciate the great strides and benefits of science. First, in health and nutrition, then in every day things like radios, washing machines, toasters, vacuum cleaners, and microwaves that we like so much. Again, there is the dark side of of newer and more efficient armaments. Drones would be one example. However, it now appears that they will soon be of use for peaceful reasons such as dropping off medical supplies (what next, Canada Post parcels?).

Finally, a more general but still a worrying question: where is the world of computers taking us?  Will the experiments into artificial intelligence get us to the point of no keyboard necessary, just simply mind control?  While this might be a way off thing we still feel passionately about the world facing our children and grandchildren.

In contrast, perhaps we look back to the people before us, say early Victorian times. What were their feelings as they boarded this contraption which might go as fast as 20 miles per hour?

Obviously, as a group we will not all view the future in the same way. However, what if we could all get together with one collective and energizing statement such as:  Yes, we do foresee hope, life and beauty in the world ahead.  This, then, would be our contribution to the future of our marvellous planet.

— Roy Jones is a member of the Qualicum Beach Seniors’ Centre located at 703 Memorial Ave. For information call 250-752-0420, e-mail us at qbseniors.shawbiz.ca or check out our website qbseniors.ca

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