Neil Versel: “I can’t imagine my 93-year-old grandmother ever having a smartphone”

All too frequently I hear this point of view being expressed and for me it’s worse than someone dragging their nails across a blackboard.

Let’s make things clear:

> If your grandmother can read text messages you send her or cast SMS votes on her favorite TV program your grandmother is technically using a smartphone (albeit one from 1999).

> If your grandmother has got a camera on her phone and has set a screensaver of her favorite child/grandchild your grandmother is technically using a smartphone (albeit one from 2002).

> If your grandmother has a pedometer running on her mobile (like millions of Japanese senior citizens have had since 2007 on their Raku Raku mobiles) your grandmother is technically using a smartphone.

> If your grandmother’s got a Mobile Connected Smoke Monitor in her home your grandmother is using smartphone technology.

> If your grandmother’s got a SOS button on her EasyPhone that can send preprogrammed SMS alerts, your grandmother is using a smartphone.

> If your grandmother’s using your old Smartphone (that’s perhaps been personalised with an easy to use/high contrast user interface), your grandmother is using a smartphone.

Maybe instead of saying we “can’t imagine our grandparents ever having a smartphone” we should be asking ourselves “why haven’t we got the imagination to get them one yet?”

What’s stopping you gifting a personalised mobile for the seniors you love?

Related posts:

This Mothers Day teach someone you love to SMS and set them up some preset templates
If “Loneliness is ‘deadly for the elderly” isn’t it time we recognised the life saving potential of SMS?
We might not know it or even like it but we’re definitely all getting Smartphones
Why Smartphones? Because seniors just don’t want a cellphone
“The App Gap: Why Baby Boomers Won’t Use Most Smart Phone Apps”

*** UPDATE: 23 May 2017 ***

Smartphone adoption among U.S. seniors has nearly quadrupled in the last 5 years’. HatTip: Mike Clark

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 10.04.12

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3 Responses to Neil Versel: “I can’t imagine my 93-year-old grandmother ever having a smartphone”

  1. Neil Versel says:

    She has none of those and she has dementia and poor vision. Also, you spelled my name wrong in the headline.

    • Hi Neil,

      Apologies for the spelling mistake in the headline, I’ve made the correction now.

      In my opinion individuals who have impaired abilities or unfamiliarity with technology have more need for “smart” phone technology. This article was intended to point to the distinction between a smartphone and basic phone because I see a lot of people presuming that the easiest to use phones are the simple/cheap phones when that’s not always the case.

      In the case of your grandmother might it actually be that you can’t imagine her ever having “any mobile”?

  2. Pingback: “Don’t immediately believe the mhealth hype – Dave Clifford” « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

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