Boomers a bit swamped by the tech wave

I've had an emailed press release sitting on my desk since, well, since Nov. 10, according to the date on the email. I keep looking at it, thinking that some day it may make sense to me. So far, no luck.

Here's its headline: "BurstIQ and Unified Signal Partner to Launch First Blockchain Enabled Crypto-Wallet Integrated Mobile Phone Service."

According to the press release, the crypto-wallet will allow users to have "instant access to their crypto-currency." More good news follows, as BurstIQ is apparently about to join Bitcoin and Ethereum in releasing its own digital currency.

This all raises a lot of questions, beginning with, can I invent my own digital currency and will they accept it at my local growler station?

I have many more questions about things like blockchain enabled crypto-wallets, but suffice to say I don't know what the hell these guys are talking about or why any of this would be legal. Probably my latent Baby Boomer genes kicking in to overpower the tech-savvy facade a lot of us Boomers put on.

That facade is not fooling anyone anyway, probably because I can't figure out, among other things, my phone or my car or how to post the podcast in which I read these same words that I'm now writing.

I've got the basic functions down on my phone — I can make a phone call and send a text message (complete with very cute cartoon figures). I've got various music apps, internet browsers and I just finished reading an Ursula Le Guin novel on my iPhone (which, by the way, requires you to swipe the tiny pages about 1,200 times).

But Siri generally refuses to acknowledge my existence, and I'm pretty sure the iTunes store changed my password without telling me. For some reason I had to buy more space in the cloud, even though to me it looked like I was using only about a dozen gigabites out of the 40 GBs available.

Don't even get me started on the new car — too late, I'm started. It has not one, but two computer screens. It has cool features like navigation, which always seems to want to send us to the nearest Purple Parrot. You can download CDs and then allegedly call them up at any time at the touch of a finger — that is, if you can find them in the maze of computer options. You can watch your gas mileage in real time, which makes for some very slow trips up our surrounding mountain passes and very speedy trips down the other side.

I often wonder as I'm behind the wheel who's watching the road, because I certainly don't have time to do that and try to figure out all the amazing tech options at my disposal.

There's no escape at work either, where we all now have two computer monitors — apparently in an effort to keep up with my car. We do the aforementioned podcasts, plus videos and social media posts. Oh, yeah, and we put out a newspaper every day.

The Boomer generation, to which I was a late addition, has been heralded for the great changes we've brought about. But I also know that a lot of Boomers feel like we were either born a little too late or a little too early. We grew up with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and dreams of being cowboys. Now we have blockchain enabled crypto-wallets. We can't go back to the Roy and Gene days and despite our best efforts, the whole crypto-wallet thing doesn't come naturally to us.

I'd write more, but my cellphone is telling me it's time for a software update. Gawd.

— Bob Hunter is associate editor of the Mail Tribune. Reach him at






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