Millennials love smartphones, but I'm not sure why
I've never complained about this to any extent, but there is indeed a technology gap between young and old. It has to do with the mobile revolution.
Anyone under the millennial cutoff—generally under 36 years old—uses computers differently than the generations before them. The millennial person has no problem using a phone for everything from browsing the internet to watching a feature-length movie.
I am always amazed by this. I think it is weird.
Who likes reading from a 5-inch screen when you have 30-inch monitors hooked to real computers? On the big monitors, you can have multiple windows open and do cross-referencing without having to deal with a ridiculously small screen. The crappy CRT screen on an Osborne One from 37 years ago was bigger, and it was the smallest thing I've ever seen attached to a computer.
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What's the point of watching a movie on a phone? There are bigger screens on the backs of airplane seats. Most people have access to a bigger computer screen or an actual (gasp) TV set. Watch the movie there!
It is possible that some of these movies are streaming over the phone and people cannot figure out how to go out through an HDMI port or converter and watch the movie on an actual bigger screen? This should be taught in school, but is not.
I usually don't carry a phone around unless I'm going for a drive and may need to call in an emergency. It's also useful when you go to the store to shop for someone and the item requested is not available and you need to buy something else. You never want to hear, "Why did you buy that? You should have called me." I also use the phone for navigation in strange towns. That's about it.
This is a different usage pattern than millennials and even people my age who are addicted to using the phone. But the olders , as I'll call them, still do not use the phone like the youngers.
I've learned a few things over the years that I think will help us non-millennials. My top tip: millennials love using smartphones so much that they will gladly act as unpaid secretaries for you. Instead of agonizing over a lookup, simply ask one of them to do it. They always oblige with glee. It's great.
I would tell someone to look it up themselves, but millennials are looking for an excuse to look something up and read the findings out loud as you sit back. This is great at a dinner table. You may have a slew of them all looking stuff up for you in competition.
Suddenly, I see the value of these phones.
Go one step further. Smartphones are mostly on unlimited calling plans, so borrow one from a stranger to make calls. I've done this often while claiming my phone battery is dead. The fact is, I just forget to bring the phone. The dead battery elicits sympathy. When you ask a stranger, they always ask if you are going to call China. Laugh and say, "No, it is local." Of course, you have to memorize all the numbers you might call. A small sacrifice.
Yeah, this technology gap works for me.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.