Technological age discrimination - The Explorer: Editorials

Technological age discrimination

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Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:20 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Like many of you, I'm significantly addicted to my computer, and reading and sending e-mails are an integral part of my daily routine. But online marketers, through various means, have gotten their hands on my e-mail address and constantly load my inbox with a variety of seemingly discriminatory messages. They seem to have figured out that I'm getting older.

Here are a few obvious examples of what I consider technological age discrimination.

The most prominent and hardest sell ads are those offering a myriad of erectile dysfunction products. Why do they automatically assume that old guys can't stand up on their own in this particular area? From what I understand, most women in the senior age range prefer it if we simply let nature take its course. Besides, I spend enough time dealing with medical-related issues; the last thing I need is an emergency room visit because I've been involuntarily standing at attention longer than four hours.

As a follow on to the above topic, there's no plausible reason that Internet marketers should assume that I need daily offerings of "hot babes" who are anxious to meet me. Then again, maybe they assume that I've been duped into loading up on the hardwood pills and want to sneak into the woods.

Aside from the obvious presumption that seniors are edging closer to the end of life's yardstick, odds are we have an ample amount of life insurance. Even so, the offers roll in with warnings that one can never have too much life insurance. Want to bet? How'd we get suckered into the mindset that we have an obligation to convert our heirs into instant millionaires after we pass on? Aside from my wife, everyone else is on their own and shouldn't expect a free financial handout. Besides, I like most animals better than a majority of the humans I've met, so if I have the final say my stuff is going to legitimate animal care organizations.

Unless I'm lying in a hospital bed hearing my last rights, I don't need a fast loan with a mere 30-plus percent interest rate. I'd love to see these sleazy operations out of business, and maybe it's incumbent on the most elderly seniors to make it happen. If these businesses are still around when I hit age 100, I plan to drive (you have a problem with that?!) to each one of them and take out as big a loan as they'll give me. And I hope one of them turns me down; I'm itching to file an age discrimination lawsuit just to see how the system handles it.

I enjoy venturing off the retirement compound periodically for a little vacation, but the last option coming to mind when planning one of these overnight outings is a time share. Not long ago I got a phone call from one of them so I listened to the opening pitch. The representative introduced himself, and then asked if I had received their e-mail about the spectacular sales offering. I told him yes, because I get at least one time share e-mail daily that I never open, so there was a good chance that his had arrived and was deleted. After listening to the too-good-to-be-true sales promotion, I asked for the cost of the annual maintenance fees along with mentioning that our usual number of overnight stays per year was five. I told the representative that dividing the annual fee by five gave an average cost per night comparable to the rack rate of the room in a five star luxury hotel. He hung up.

But on occasion, I do receive a legitimate e-mail that lands in the spam file, so I read it. For example, printer ink. Like it or not, even a computer junkie needs things printed in hard copy sometimes. Given the astronomical retail price of printer ink, the online offerings from recognized provides can save a bundle of money. I also shop for a few vitamin-mineral supplements via the Internet, and the reputable companies typically offer a good value.

From what I've seen, age discrimination is now prevalent in the world of technology via unsolicited e-mails, an elaborate assemblage of intriguing, unanticipated seemingly personalized offerings combined with an enticing blend of mystery and incentive; there's always just enough to keep us fascinated with the possibilities. Maybe life is, in fact, intended to be ongoing potential age discrimination, so technology is an obvious entrant in the bias mix.

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