Should 5 years be such a big gap?

This evening, I helped my partner revise his resume and re-write his cover letter. He has Windows Vista on his laptop, along with Office 2007. While directing him to make edits, I had to help him navigate around the Word interface, with cries of “I can never find anything in here” ringing through the house.

Now, he has had these systems for about 3 years. He has Office 2007 at work. But he changes the settings so they are like the 97-2003 version. Why can’t he adapt to the new interfaces, change with the times, accept the new?

My partner is 5 years older than me, but we probably really started using computers at the same time (in terms of the year, not the age).

Since he is older, is it harder for him to adapt and learn? Is he stuck in the old ways? Or is it harder for that generation to learn new systems?

Are people 5 years younger than me thinking the same things about me?


3 thoughts on “Should 5 years be such a big gap?

  1. I’m your partner’s age, but I don’t feel like that interface change is a problem – it did take some getting used to, but it wasn’t the end of the world. It took me a while to get comfortable with computers, for sure, but now it’s (almost – never quite will be) second nature. I think it’s more about the attitude towards the tools and towards the learning than about the age at which you’re learning (although that can certainly play a role).

    That being said, yes – people younger than you are always going to sigh and shake their heads at how out of it you are. Think of our own relationship…

  2. While navigating through my “morning coffee” sites, I found a similar post on Vision and Verb ( It’s about learning and teaching yourself about the internet and computer programs, and I thought it was oddly fitting given my post on the subject. You can check the post out here:

  3. I think Jen got the point – it’s more about the attitude than about the age. Some people find it hard to change their ‘technological’ habits and look at changes with a reluctant eye. Nice post.

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