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Teaching computers to the elderly, that is, people over 12

I've often referred to my computer software training technique as being for the elderly, that is, people over 12. And if you're elderly, you may be one of those people who argue that you can't possibly understand how to use a computer like *young people* can. To which I want to ask, *just exactly how old are you?*

By my calculations, everyone who is alive on the planet today knows about what I call the *push button* world. Even if you're actually old enough to remember when elevators had a person inside of them to operate them, you grew up pushing a button, and just trusting that the elevator would operate correctly. And in a car, you selected *D* for *drive*, pushed a pedal, and trusted that the car would go where you wanted by turning the wheel. You pushed a button to listen to music.

The push-button world is a world of trusting, and remote control. If you've ever been in an elevator and trusted it, you have lived in the push-button world. And really, that's all that your computer is, something with buttons, that usually works. And when it doesn't, like the call button in the elevator, you ask for help.

So, really, unless you only know a world before all of this push-button stuff happened, you aren't too elderly to learn to use a computer. And as I watch you push the buttons on your phone to call someone to say that you can't possibly understand how to use a computer, you prove that you can.

Just push some buttons!