Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

Ada Lovelace Day 2010 – Elder Women

24 March is Ada Lovelace Day. This day was setup by FindingAda.com and is "an international day of blogging to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science". Rather than selecting one woman, one roll-model to talk about, I would like to talk about a few individuals that continually impress me in their use of technology.

The women are not really well known. In fact, there is only one that is relatively well known. The others are "just" ordinary women, going about their days, and using technology as part of it. I am thinking of elder women. Women such as my grand-mother, or Ivy Bean, or another grand-mother I know.

My Grand-Mother

My grand-mother’s use of technology is using email to correspond with me, and my dad. At first thought, this is not all that significant. But she is in her mid-80’s and retired before having to use a computer at work, because the (very large) company she worked for did not have them. She is not comfortable with her computer. But she uses it. And that does impress me.

Ivy Bean

Some of you may have heard of her. She’s on Twitter. @IvyBean104. Again, many people would say it is not all that significant to be on Twitter. But, as her username indicates, she is 104 (probably 105 by now, actually). And she tweets. She interacts with people. She has over 55,000 followers. And she follows more than 6,000 people. I can only ask "how cool is that?". An example to many others, I would hope.

Another Grand-Mother

Another elder woman I know of keeps in touch with her grand-children via Facebook. This is also a woman in her 80’s, possibly 90’s. It annoys her daughter that she knows what’s going on in the lives of the grand-kids faster than their mum. See, mum isn’t on Facebook. She doesn’t want to get on Facebook, for whatever reason. So the technology adopter gets the news.

These women are examples for me. They teach me to never stagnate, to keep learning. The world is changing, at an incredible pace, and so is technology. I can only hope to be as "on to it" as they are if I ever reach old age!

One thought on “Ada Lovelace Day 2010 – Elder Women

  1. My aunt who is in her mid-80s, uses e-mail to communicate with her children and surfs the net to stay informed. She is an enthusiastic learner and isn’t fearful of the computer. She embraces the computer. I think I will tell her about Facebook!

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