Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday September 21st 2014 CyberSeniors Part Two

You have probably heard of the generation gap, which brings to light differences between young people and older people, but what about the technology gap?  Teenagers today are "digital natives" as most grew up with a computer in their home, and know exactly what to do with the latest smart phone or tablet.  Older people, and at 47 I include myself in this description, had to learn about computers, cell phones and tablets -- after we learned about answering machines, microwaves and VCRs!  There is a movement afoot which aims to bridge both the generation gap and the technology gap, and it's called CyberSeniors.  It started with a film, and it's coming to Thunder Bay.

The CyberSeniors film is a humorous and heartwarming documentary, which chronicles the extraordinary journey of a group of colourful senior citizens, as they discover the world of the internet, through the guidance of teenage mentors. Their exploration of cyber-space is catapulted to another level when 89 year-old Shura decides to create a YouTube cooking video. A spirited video competition for the most "views" evolves as the cyber-seniors' hidden talents and competitive spirits are revealed.  CyberSeniors provides insights into the wonderful things that can happen when generational gaps are bridges, providing you are never too young to get 'connected'.

The CyberSeniors program was started by two teenage sisters. They came up with the idea after witnessing how cyber-communication had transformed their grandparents' lives and brought them closer to their grandchildren. When one of the sisters is diagnosed with cancer at the same time as her grandfather, we witness how the internet becomes a lifeline for the family to stay connected and support one another.

The film offers a heartwarming, candid, and at times humorous look at the victories and challenges seniors face as they dive into the digital world.  CyberSeniors is an inspiring example of the wonderful things that can happen when generation gaps are bridged, and new ways of connecting are explored. (source:

AgeFriendly Thunder Bay is bringing this film to our City on Saturday September 27th at 2 p.m. at Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Theatre. Free tickets may be picked up from any Library location. After the screening seniors and teens will have the opportunity to sign up for CyberSeniors programs here in Thunder Bay. The Library, 55 Plus Centre and several seniors' residences are planning events where seniors and teens can get together and explore the internet.

At the Library we'll kick off our CyberSeniors program on Saturday October 4th, at 10:30 a.m. at both the Waverley Resource and Mary J.L. Black Branch Libraries. Teens and seniors can register now by contacting Margaret at or 345-8275 ext. 7251. Seniors can bring their own device (tablet, smart phone, laptop for example), or use Library computers. Teens can earn highschool volunteer hours for participating in this program.

For information about CyberSeniors programs in the community, visit the Library Web site at and click on "Get Involved" then "CyberSeniors".

Joanna Aegard

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