In Tablet We Trust

Old People Are Coming For Your Tablets

Technophobes like tablets because they don't "seem" like computers.
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(flickr.com/koalazymonkey)

We would write about the first time our luddite grandmother picked up an iPad–the seamless way she took to it, how the flustered confusion laptops evoked in her completely ebbed with a tablet in hand–but Chadwick Matlin already did that a few months ago at The Hairpin, and he did it oh so wonderfully. Instead, let us reflect on ZDNet’s piece today about the lure of the tablet–what makes the sleek little device suddenly so appealing to people who previously brandished their technophobia with pride?

According to ZDNet, the elderly among us love to use tablets because they’re so un-scary. Tablets “aren’t viewed as computers at all, even though tablets today can do many of the same things. Tablets are things they simply pick up and do stuff, without worry.”

But what makes a tablet so different from a computer? It’s the way it looks, for one–unassuming, with an intuitive UI that even this reporter’s almost two-year-old sister can easily navigate. We first gave her an iPad when she was one and a half, and within an hour she was clicking on the kids apps we’d downloaded for her and loading up games herself.

The iPad is literally so easy to use that a baby can do it.

Tablets also don’t come with any bulky hardware — no mouse, no keyboard. Just press on the glass screen and everything you want is at your fingertips. Simply magical, particularly to those among us who have no idea how computers actually work.

ZDNet points out that the lack of intimidation associated with the tablet is what makes it so easy to adapt to, and it’s why technophobes are finally coming around to the sleek little device.

But like, real talk for a sec: do old people have to take over everything? First primetime television and now technology? What’s next, old people playing video games? Oh.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com