General Medical Technology Voices

When Stereotypes Cause Heart Attacks (gimme that iWatch now!)


Poor Jason Cipriani. He just wanted to write an article about dumbing down your smartphone (!!)  for CNET  and the wrath of the boomer generation rained on his parade. Looks like a nice guy, married, 3 kids. But seriously:

Grandpa or Grandma, do you like the idea of dumbing down your smartphone? Are you someone who passed up a smartphone you really wanted because you were overwhelmed or intimidated by all the features, so you opted to go with a simple cell phone?

Let’s put this in context: today’s grandparents BROUGHT YOU THE PERSONAL COMPUTER – and the Internet – and the infrastructure to make it all happen. Today’s grandparents  surely have some tech phobic or naive amongst them. But so what? There are ways of getting the message across that there is something to minimize the complexity of a smartphone without singling out a group.

Jason – I’m going to help you out here. I’m going to tell you about the research that says negative stereotypes of aging bring on negative health consequences and it is as true for the under 40’s as those over. If you have negative stereotypes of aging at a young age and engage in, “So easy even your grandma  can use it” type of thinking it harms you in the future. You don’t age as well.   In fact you get heart attacks and strokes more than those without the negative stereotypes. “In the negative group, 25% had cardiovascular events vs 13% of the positive.” The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science in 2009.  All usual variables were controlled for.  The research was good and conducted at Yale.  One of the researchers said positive role models can change attitudes about aging. The article ends with a symposium, “So This is What 90 Looks Like” and mentions a filmmaker who began in her 70’s and is now on her 6th film.

Not everyone can or should or wants to work forever. But no one should be assaulted in the media with stereotypes of anything. And if you want to avoid a heart attack,  then here’s your heads up. A gift from me to you, Jason.

This must have been difficult to see the kickback from so many.  I was shocked to see so many respond so swiftly and with such a knowledge base from their careers. But then I should not have been. I taught myself Visicalc on the world’s first portable: an Osborne.  My only regret is that when I put my first website up back in 1999 or so and sold chocolates with a friend that I didn’t know I was a start up, a CEO, and in search of VC money.

That site is long gone and hello to my peers, and Jason, you’re fantastic writer, this is just a heads up.

Let’s end with a thumbs up to a very old living thing.  Here in Palo Ato we have tomorrow’s tech, but we come from this 1000 year old tree  Gaspar de Portola camped here, it was the tallest tree and easy for his men to find. Hanging around has its good side. Hope you hang around a very long time.

And  to Art Levinson: Go CALICO! (Google’s anti -aging program)

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