We all know that Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo writer and Lord of Excess, would have likely had the internet hard-wired into some type of brain port if he had chosen to continue his existence. Senior citizen or not, Thompson embraced new experiences and over-stimulation and so the internet – if done to excess – was a likely destination for his attention. Unfortunately, the good doctor shuffled off this mortal coil at the time and method of his own choosing, so he is not here to serve as a role model for other seniors.
I would remind seniors of Thompson’s words, at least the ones I can use here, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
For some reason senior citizens seem to fear the internet. Perhaps it’s because they know, on some cosmic level, that Hunter S. Thompson’s quotes still lurk there. As Walter Jones writes for Morris News Service, as reported in the Augusta Chronicle:
While 94 percent of all Georgians have access to broadband Internet service, only 65 use it, largely because older Georgians don’t think it’s relevant to their lives or they’re afraid of it, witnesses told a Senate committee Tuesday studying the economic and generational digital divide.
“There is an ongoing fear that I’m going to be digital-ed out,” said Marcia Wallace, a 64 year-old secretary. “It’s not that I don’t want to be on the Internet … I need somebody somewhere that can teach me.” Story continued here.
Of course there is a committee. Senator Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) has sponsored legislation to create a committee to study the divide between internet users and those who avoid the web. The committee will meet throughout the year and study different programs within the state of Georgia as well as programs in other states. They will report during the next regular session of the Georgia legislature.
Of course, one way to help senior citizens is to make them less afraid. Again, Dr. Thompson could serve as a role model for seniors planning a road trip on Al Gore’s internet highway:
We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can
– Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Please note that you may have to help Granny find the mescaline. It’s not as popular as it once was.