The pandemic, tech, and the older crowd

The word technology refers to themaking, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation, or perform a specific function. I googled this definition.

I started this blog with a general definition of the word technology. I hope this makes what follows much clearer.

Yesterday was Sunday. It was our church’s 131st anniversary. I’m sure church anniversaries are important events in all church’s. Being a member of an African American Baptist church in the Bible Belt, I tend to think they are very important. Think with me for a minute. The Black church in America has been the most important institution in the community. It has provided the harbor for comfort, spiritual edification, community involvement and social change, among other things, for generations. Our church anniversary has always been a note-worthy occasion. Established just twenty-five years after the end of the American Civil War, our church was among many African American churches established near the end of the nineteenth century. The church was the one institution the African American community could call its own.

Something happened yesterday that probably wouldn’t have had it not been for the pandemic. Our church anniversary was celebrated with a mixture of some members worshipping physically, on location at the brick-and-mortar edifice, while many others worshipped from the comfort and safety of their homes, watching the celebration over Facebook, YouTube, and live streaming from our church’s website. The onsite gathering was normal for pre-pandemic times, and it was a welcomed experience for the ones who attended. The decision to open the church back up to onsite worship in larger numbers was made prior to the resurgence of Covid-19 with the Delta Variant. The part of our congregation that decided to not attend the onsite gathering, but instead to worship virtually seemed to have enjoyed the experience as much as if they were onsite. I make this assumption based on the live comments I noticed on the Facebook live broadcast.

Zoom, Facebook, telephone conferencing were not even options considered by many of our church members a year and a half ago. I can distinctly remember many people making comments to the effect that they didn’t want to have anything to do with computers and smart phones. I often joke about how a service at our church resembles an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) meeting. Many of us have been there for thirty years or more. Although we’ve had children, a lot of these millennials have left; some are attending younger congregations or simply off exploring the world somewhere. The amazing dynamic to observe is that the business of our church continues, because although senior is our demography, the folks have learned how to not only turn on a computer, but how to use it to conduct the business of the church. Chris is heavily involved in mission work with women in our church and around the city. She tells me of comments she hears from many of these women, indicating that they would prefer to continue using virtual approaches to conduct business after the pandemic abates. I’ve heard similar comments from senior men who are involved in auxiliary church activities.

There’s an old saying that says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, that might apply to dogs, but old people seem to be different. I think the pandemic has proven that to be the case. There’s nothing more impressive that a Christian whose faith convinces them that God has provided technology just for a time like this, notwithstanding the fact that these technologies have been around for quite some time.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be to.

P.S., although I’m old, I’ve been using computers, smart phones, and related technologies for along time. They’ve enriched my retirement experience over the last eight years. I’m excited to see others of the old and blessed crowd coming aboard.

7 thoughts on “The pandemic, tech, and the older crowd

  1. BookWorm July 28, 2021 / 5:43 pm

    Yet another post perfectly describing how tech saved us from boredom during this pandemic😉 My granny is retired too, and she passes a lot of time talking to her other retired friends on the phone! Good that these type of important occasions are not canceled due to the dammed virus. Did you attend in person or over the internet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • oldandblessed July 28, 2021 / 7:01 pm

      Come on now, did you really have to ask? 😂 We have a cosiderably larger congregation in my town, about 1,200 congregants. I, along with most of them, have underlying health conditions. I was able to worship just fine in the comfort of my living room. After all, scripture tells me that we should worship in Spirit and truth, location doesn’t matter that much, but my life does.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BookWorm July 29, 2021 / 7:05 am

        Oh, I did have to😂 You are absolutely right, at the end, it is the spirituality that matters. For worshipping you don’t need a statue, buildings or even other people! Exploring oneself deeply is worship. You will be alright, old man! Oh, I know it! Much love😊


  2. Claryce E Austin July 29, 2021 / 1:38 am

    I for one had no idea what Zoom was before the pandemic. So thankful for this modern technology.


  3. catterel August 2, 2021 / 10:32 am

    Yes indeed, amen to everything you say. And though technology is becoming every more complicated, I’ve been using a computer for 40 years now, and would hate to be without one!


    • oldandblessed August 2, 2021 / 1:07 pm

      I’ve also been using a computer for decades. I couldn’t have made it as an HR executive without learning a bit about technology. I think the digital divide has narrowed a bit with the pandemic forcing many to figure out just how smart their mobile phone is and how practical a comuter can be.


      • catterel August 2, 2021 / 3:52 pm

        It’s always a challenge to figure out how this app or that system works – but i have been very glad to have been able to add Zoom to Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp without too much rouble. I also follow the church services online, and it’s such a luxury to be able to join in from the comfort of my sofa! I do miss the fellowship, though. We have a few new families who have joined during the last year and a half, and I would like to get to know them.


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