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Every generation has a different attitude to gadgets, but skills don’t become obsolete the same way gadgets do. To have a functioning repair economy, it’s important for generations to learn from each other.
This week, we hear from people of different ages – including a father-son duo – about their view of repair. Restarter Alvin Hardy shares his perspectives on how repair education has changed. Janet and Ugo also share some of their own experiences with children, nieces, nephews and parents.
One commonly-raised concern is the fact that young people seem to be lacking in the DIY training their parents had. Too many young people appear to be calling on ‘toolbox mum and dad’ when things go wrong. Will we eventually be left in a world where few people know how to change a plug?
Gadgets are changing, too. Shiny new smartphones and laptops do not open up as easily as old radios and hand-blenders. And while there is now much more information out there in the form of YouTube tutorials and online forums, these resources are not necessarily easy to access for all generations.
It is tempting to draw general conclusions about how older generations are more skilled with DIY repair, and do not know how to work the internet. But from our experience, this is not always true. Many of our older volunteers serve as a ‘bridge’ between these two worlds. And our recent work with Archer Academy has shown us that not only are students more than capable of learning hands-on repair, they are also actively interested in it.
It is important that younger people are made aware that only a few years ago, it was common that each new gadget was an investment, and products were made to last. Similarly, we need to make sure that emerging tech landscapes are accessible for older learners.
- 05.55: Alvin and Ash (HealMyTech)
- 09.08: Aviva – The ‘Do it for me’ generation
- 26.40: The Conversation – The bitcoin and blockchain: Energy hogs
- 27.24: Used GPUs flood the market as Ethereum’s price crashes below $150
[Image by Flickr User Open Minder is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]