“I recently shared a photo of my mud-covered grandchildren in our family’s Whatsapp group. I immediately received a reply: “ah-oh – should we come pick them up again?”
Our main goal is what we call ‘humanizing technology’ – adapting technology to the needs and wishes that spring from the everyday lives of real, flesh-and-blood human beings. As a testimony to this, we have started visiting users in their own home: to listen to stories about the role technology plays in their lives. Whether that is a big, leading role – or a tiny supporting one. In the coming weeks, you will be able to read a new story every week! Today part three: Mrs. Toos Scheepers from Brabant, The Netherlands.
“I’m an accountant, so I have the benefit of having been around computers for a long, long time. I have experienced the entire sequence of development in the technology from up close – at a comfortable, slow pace. I haven’t had to process that huge jump in complexity, but I know that most people my age have – or still are. If you have skipped all the individual, small improvements and additions, you are faced with an incredibly steep hill to climb all at once.”
“I started accounting because once upon a time – a long, long time ago – I was in the school board, en the secretary was in the hospital with heart problems. I was asked if I wanted to take over.I had never worked on a computer – we’re talking Commodore 64, one of the first computers – so they walked through it with me, and then left me to figure out the rest by myself. Over the following years I developed my understanding of it, and really got to know my way around. But keep in mind: this was simple stuff – most of the things that are normal now weren’t even possible yet then. So it’s a completely different thing, to start with something as complex as modern day computers or smartphone technology. Starting at the beginning – that’s always easiest. In the past, whenever there was some kind of new functionality, I had just mastered all the existing ones, so all I had to do was figure out the new one. That’s why I think a system like the GoLivePhone app – I don’t use it, my husband does – is a good idea: it’s a chance to start at the beginning.
“I love technology. Negative sides? I don’t know them. Look: in the past, when you had a meeting and you were taking minutes, you had to cycle past ten different houses afterwards – to drop them off! Now you press one button and everyone has them immediately. Amazing. I also check out the weather forecast on my phone or tablet, and I read the newspaper that way too. When I find something really interesting, I just print it. And another great thing about technology: when my grandchildren have a school performance, I can’t always make it – they live quite far from here. So: I receive a video on my phone! That way, I can still see them. And when they come visit, they always grab my phone in the evening and send my daughter a voice message on Whatsapp; ‘just saying goodnight to mom!’ – they love that. The last time they were here they made a mud bath – they were completely covered in mud, from top to toe. So I quickly took a photo and shared it in our family’s Whatsapp group. I immediately got a message back: “ah-oh – should we come pick them up again?”