Hello world!

This is an informative article about how older adults are being left out of the digital world. Many of those over sixty-five have never used the internet, or even have access to it. This can lead to increased loneliness and isolation. However, the author, Jessica Fields, talks about how this can be addressed through a non-profit organization which was designed to help low-income seniors with this problem. She also goes into detail about how major tech companies could make their sites easier to use for seniors.

About six years ago my wife and I purchased an iPad for my mother. At the time she was seventy-eight and living in a retirement home near us. Although I visited and spoke to her often, she wanted to be able to communicate with my sister and her five children who lived in Colorado. My mother knew that all of her grandchildren were more likely to communicate online than over the phone. She was also fortunate as her home had a computer room, and there was assistance in training the occupants in how to use computers.

A March 2018 article (Links to an external site.) from Perspectives on History, the magazine of the American Historical Assocation, went into detail on the changes of how historians do their work. The first is that by replacing physical examination of archives with search engines, the researcher will have to expect bias in the results, along with questions about why certain records are displayed, and the biases of those who placed them in the archives. The contextual knowledge that historians used to have by examining paper archives is now useless when doing the same for digital records. An example is that search algorithms have their own implict biases. Also, data bases themeselves can be flawed because the researchers cannot see what was excluded, if an image was improperly scanned, or if governments manipulated data. The artcile does receommend that historians develop online resources such as Beyond Citation, a source that lets them compare various historical databases. Another suggestion is to create good “About” pages for each website.

The rise of digital technology creates challenges for historians. According to a recent article (Links to an external site.) in Techxplore, the official archive for American historical records will no longer accept paper after the 2022. Researchers in the past had to physically examine paper files, but now will have to manage access to countless websites and digital archives. The sheer number of websites may be overwhelming, and resarchers are struggling to keep up by maintaing web archives of past and preent websites. Another challenge is that many records from the 19th century and earlier have been digitized. Digital literacy for historians and archivists is no longer optional. Not only will they need the skills to access the archives, but they will have to be able to understand teh context of the records, but will have to be able to distinguish between “real” records from fake ones. Bias in historical records has always existed, but will be even m ore difficult ro disytinguish when all data will have no paper backup.

Is print dead? This is a cliche that is repeated again and again in the digital age. Howver, a 2015 study conducted by the Temple University Fox School of Business for the United States Postal Service concluded that although print advertising takes longer to process than its digital counterpart, it inflicts a deeper emotional reponse. The Fox Center for Neural Marketing Study found that people spend more time with physical ads, and that these were more likely to incease activity in the parts of the brain that could lead to purchasing.