Opinion: Book for seniors or dummies?


I didn’t see the point of owning another electronic gadget, especially since I am still unskilled in the smart phone and computer I already have. Then I saw iPad For Seniors, For Dummies. I already have two Dummies books, Living Vegan for Dummies and Backyard BBQ for Dummies. (I go through phases.) Years ago, I wanted to learn how to throw my voice but was disappointed when there was no Ventriloquism for Dummies available.

The author, Nancy Muir, has written 100 articles on technology. I assume she is about 11 years old, because no one my age could know that much about computers.

The book is for people who have no experience with tablets. I bought it, even though I take several tablets every morning.  It’s geared toward “mature people,” but if you are north of 50, you’ll have to resist having a tantrum after the first three pages.

The introduction includes: “With your new iPad, learn how to have fun, explore the online world, and look at naughty videos.”  It doesn’t really say that last part, but it could entice seniors to the Apple Store. In “How to Choose the Right iPad for You,” we learn that “the new ones are getting lighter and thinner—great for the older population.” This sounds like ad copy for Depends.

The section “How Much Memory Do You Need?” is also the name of a brochure available at my geriatrician’s office. Should you purchase an iPad with only Wi-Fi, or invest in 3G? The author asks: “Do you want to use it only at home or do you want to walk around with it?”  The 3G version would be perfect for my uncle Leo, who occasionally disappears at night and wanders off into the forest.

I had trouble understanding most of the book, which made me feel dumb. That’s when I decided it was time to buy another one of their actual top-sellers in the series: Self-Esteem for Dummies.

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