The web is a great place to find men if you are 77. Just ask Annette, one of the stars of the new documentary, Cyber-Seniors.
The film shows what happens when teenage sisters Kascha and Macaulee get their high school friends to teach seniors how to use computers. It pokes gentle fun at the generational divide and then shows it disappear as friendships form.
A YouTube video contest grew out of the school project and eventually so did this film, directed by the girls’ sister, Saffron.
I met many of the seniors last summer, when I was one of the judges of the Cyber-Seniors video contest, so it was great to reconnect with them at last night’s screening.
Olivia Chow, MP, Trinity-Spadina, stopped by to give some rousing opening remarks and to chat with the cyber-seniors including Shura (below centre) who was enjoying the evening with her friend Linda Wells (left).
Then it was off to the movies for cyber-senior gold:
Learning new things
“When you’re 90, the elevator goes slowly to the third floor.” Barbara (90)
Forgetting new things
Teen teacher: “I’ve had quite a few of them forget their passwords. The answer to the security question never helps.”
Finding your way online
Frances: “I typed in www.email.com.” Max (teacher): “Yes, that’s the problem.”
What is Facebook?
“It’s where you put all your friends and then you delete them.” Annette (77)
Lydia discovers a man that she hasn’t seen in ages on Facebook and thinks she’ll just “poke” him. Granddaughter Courtney tells her that poking someone you don’t know is, well, rude.
Annette feels it is inappropriate to post pictures of yourself kissing someone. Teacher Henri says,”This is exactly why I don’t have my grandmother on Facebook!”
Finding love online
Annette becomes intrigued with online dating sites. “Single woman wanted!” she reads aloud. “You make these things go too fast,” she tells Henri as they scan a site. ”Can’t you go back to the single man?”
Senior: “I crashed! I’m proud of it; I didn’t know I could!”
(Linda, Shura’s sister Diana Martin and Shura)
As Shura got used to the computer, she became very fond of watching cooking videos on YouTube.
So, she decided to make her own.
In “Cooking with Shura,” she demonstrates how to boil corn-on-the-cob in an electric kettle and cook grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron.
The moment when she leans in to choose the correct setting before ironing her sandwich, is priceless.
Cyber-Seniors video contest
After watching Shura’s video, others wanted to get in on the act.
Marion, 93, who still has all of her teeth, shows them off in a rap video.
Lydia talks about her passion for gardening and Ellard (90) demonstrates his exercise routine.
Annette goes on the town for, “Six tips on how to pick up” men.
My grandmother would love this video about seniors and technology. It celebrates that bratty spirit that pushes you to try new things, to be who you are and to pull the rug out from anything that gets in your way. And it inspires others do the same.
And, it has the Hallelujah Chorus!
Carpe diem filmmakers, teachers and Cyber-Seniors!
c 2013 Kathy Barthel