We’ve come to a small seaside town in the south of England to talk to the older
generation about their lives before technology, and how
they use it now.
I was lucky enough to sit down with a few of the residents
of a retirement community to learn more about their way of life,
and if their values differ from ours in this modern digital world.
I’m Hetty and I’m 93
I’m Gwenda, and I was 90 years old
George and I’m 93, I was born in 1924
I’m Margaret and I’m 86
I’m Betty, and I’m 86…
Still a baby aren’t I
You’re just a baby
Well I thought it was fantastic!
Oh it was different before phones… you got in contact more, you visited people
more, they came to visit you more.
You opened a letter.
You had sort of real friends then, everybody enjoyed one another's company.
No it was much different, much nicer I think.
I think we lose out a lot with having mobile phones.
I’ve got a friend, and the first day we met,
she sat in front of me at school, we were both 11,
and I still communicate with her.
In fact, I wrote to her last Friday!
What’s good about receiving a letter instead of an email?
Well, the friend comes to life to you, you know,
you see what she looks like, see her handwriting, and you recognise that.
It tells you something about her, the fact that she’s remembered you.
Where do you think things are heading in the future?
I dread to think, I think we’ll all end up as robots.
They’re wasting their life away.
They’re missing everything around them.
People delve into their own world, and they’re not aware of the people outside
If they’ve come to talk to you, why not talk to you?
Why be on your phone all the time?
On the bus or on the train, it’s annoying!
It’s alright for them, they’ve got the conversation,
but everybody else around them is listening, they don’t want to.
This is a dating app, this is tinder.
This is a picture of a person, and if I like that person,
I can swipe one way to say yes, I can swipe another way to say no.
And if i swipe yes there's a chance I could meet that person.
And that's how people meet now.
Well aren’t they missing something… they’ve gotta result to that?
I can’t see how that’s genuine.
A 5 minute talk with them and they move on...
I’d find something that he did and enjoyed, and I made sure that I was there!
There’s no technique to it, just chat them up
if you’d call it that now..
Yes person to person!
What makes a good life is to really get to know people, and you don’t give yourself
completely to a man, until you know it's going to be
something more serious, otherwise, what's the use?
Far better bumping into somebody in the street
Do you have a mobile phone yourself?
How do you describe it?
I can’t do without it!
I’m getting into new technology bit by bit.
I’ve got a mobile, and I’ve got a computer.
Previously I had a brother, who died, and he left me only a little bit of money,
and I thought, what can I buy to remember him?
And that's when i bought my first computer and I named it Albert.
Last year, I had to go into hospital in August and I didn’t get back home until the 30th
And that phone kept me in touch with everybody.
I enjoy being on the iPad more than the phone because I can express myself better.
If the thing I’m talking about, I can go on something
called GIF and I can send a picture with it.
So if somebody is cross about something I send a scary picture like that.
My daughter was going on holiday to Brittany, and I said have a good journey
and I sent a boat going across the ocean.
Super isn’t it, really marvellous.
Have you ever taken a selfie?
Do you know what a selfie is?
Yes, hold it in front, take a picture
Do you want to take your first ever selfie?
I’m not photogenic at all
You didn’t smile in it!
Do you want to try another one?
It will take a picture of you.
You have to smile!
Shall we take a selfie together?
I’ve got the photographs of everybody there, i’ve got photographs of the wife,
speak to her everyday, say goodnight to her everyday
Do you ever wish you had this technology earlier in life?
I would have done more at school.
I can learn a language on it you see, if I wanted too.
So, I would’ve done that.
Hmm, yes I’ll probably miss out of that.
I just can’t grasp it.
I’m gonna ask you one last question, if you had a piece of advice to pass on to
younger people, what advice would you give people?
To keep a friendship, keep your promises and just love everybody if you can remember,
they want you to love them.
What advice would you give someone?
The same as you did when you said ‘look up’.
Conversation with people, if you want to make friends with people, face
I think face to face is better than doing something like that.
But then at 93 I would say that wouldn’t I!
Life before phones seemed so peaceful, simple, and just more genuine.
If you made a plan then you had to stick to it
because there was no way of letting them know you weren’t gonna be there.
The values these guys have for happiness are based around,
honesty, keeping promises and love.
As simple as that.