This afternoon at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference in Washington, DC, I saw clips from a documentary, Cyber-Seniors, about teenage volunteers in Toronto who work with elders — people in their mid to late 80s and older — and the rich clarity of their interactions. Many of these people retired before computers appeared in any significant way into the workplace.
The movie, which travelled around film festivals, has already screened in more than 80 viewings around Canada and the United States — with more to come. It shares special moments, difficult moments, looks of wonder, moderate shock (usually at what grandparents see on their grandchildren’s pages), and the excitement we all feel when we learn something new. And yes, sometimes it’s funny. Cyber-Seniors has garnered lots of good press. (I do wish, however, that people in the media would stop calling elders “cute.” You media folks will grow older some day andhttp://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_26931356/magid-exclusive-amazon-fire-phones-fight-ebola-west-africa you WILL NOT appreciate being labeled as cute.)
Here’s a clip of a teenage mentor teaching a woman to take a selfie.
I encourage AsOurParentsAge readers to check out the Cyber-Seniors YouTube channel for clips and trailers people, and if possible, find a way to watch this heartwarming movie. (Check here for screenings.) It proves without a doubt that people of all ages delight in learning new things throughout their lives. I’ve certainly found this as I’ve chronicled my father’s iPad experiences in iPad for Dad posts.
I Of course, practically any adult child who is strongly connected with healthy elder parents has plenty of stories to tell about how much their parents love to learn, no matter what their age.
I heard the film’s director, Saffron Cassaday, speak at the conference along with Max Schellenberg one of the teenage mentors from the film, and I came away impressed. The documentary will be available for purchase in 2015. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking around for an opportunity to watch the full documentary. It’s a winner.