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Online Shopping & Old(er) People

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Contributor:
Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

You know when the simplest exchange of words sparks a chain reaction of thought that you just can't ignore?  I was chatting to Mum the other day about ordering a pizza online - mainly because I couldn't be bothered with the inconvenience of the telephone; finding the phone number, calling it, waiting, talking to someone, giving out my name and address and explaining what I wanted to order - and she replied she never buys anything online because she doesn't trust it.

Simple enough really. I can understand why the older folks a bit weary of new technology because older folks are highly suggestible when it comes to mainstream media sensationalising the “many risks” of purchasing stuff online.  

Generation Y are pretty relaxed when it comes to giving out credit card details online, order a pizza, buy some CDs, clothes, flights, concert tickets and we're pretty set. It's easy, fast and best of all, you don't have to talk to anyone on the other end of the phone which also means you can order your pizza without pausing an album or turning it down.

Then I saw an ad for the Snuggie.  Mum's birthday is coming up and she's always cold so I thought it'd be a fun gift for her. Don't worry she doesn't read this so she'll be none the wiser, and I am aware the Snuggie is the cheesiest invention ever. So, while watching the ad I was beginning to get rather impatient because the ad was taking too long and all I wanted to know was the price. So, while waiting for the price, I was thinking that maybe I shouldn't get her the Snuggie because that means I'd have to use the telephone to call someone and order it that way. But then they showed the website where you can order it from and you save $10! Back on track.

It was this moment it dawned on me how much Generation Y not only relies on the internet, but prefer it. The next generation, Generation-i, will be even worse (and yes, I'm in the process of coining the term Generation-i) as the current cyber-bullies and cyber-kids turn into cyber adults with information constantly flowing (i for information and internet - not capitalised for obvious reasons).

But back to the point. The notion of not buying stuff from the net already seems antiquated when you consider its only been nine or ten years since the internet fully exploded and became a household service. A chair or a table takes what, sixty to a hundred years to become an antique while habits and aspects of lifestyles now only take a decade to become antiquated. 

People are living longer and the longer they live the faster technology evolves leaving the old(er) people behind and almost turning them into antiques! They can regale us with stories of booking a smoking seat on a flight from a travel agency and buying their music in vinyl form from shops.

My Generation Y friends and I still remember taping songs off the radio and creating our own mix cassette-tapes and taping shows off the TV thanks to the VCR and cutting out the ads. What fond childhood and teenage memories will Generation-i have to share in twenty years? 

The Snuggie seems to be a goer for Mum's birthday, I'll buy it online and save myself ten bucks and then I'll order a pizza all from the comfort of my bed without turning down/off the music.

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