Dialogue:______read aloud in pairs
A: Do you think that the young have anything to learn from the elderly and vice
B: Well, older people are said to have more experience than younger ones.
A: I've heard that argument time and time again, but nobody ever says what experience!
B: I'd've thought that was obvious. They've lived through personal and family
relationships. In many cases, they've bought and sold houses. They've witnessed
ups and downs in their careers. They're often experts on matters of health ranging
from minor ailments to major operations. Some of them have been round the world.
A: But do these achievements really relate to the problems of young people today?
B: They have to, somewhere along the line. What I'm saying is that older
people have been there before. They've had the problems and found the solutions.
A: I'm not sure that it works like that. You see, today's young live in a different
age. For a start, they don't go looking for information on the shelves of their local
reference library. If they need any kind of advice, they'll find it on the Internet. I don't
suppose their grandparents will know how to use Search Engines.
B: It seems that you're confusing quantity of information with quality of
information. Nobody knows you better than someone in your own family. You don't
need a global instrument to solve a local problem.
A: Let's look at the other side of the coin. What can the young teach the elderly?
B: If the elderly are receptive, they could share some of the benefits of
information technology. An E-mail message or a fax could save someone with
mobility problems a lot of time and effort. Telephone banking could spare them
having to queue in one of the few remaining branches of their bank. The elderly are
often confused by modern telephones and automatic switchboards.
A: I wonder whether that's the case. Isn't it rather that they enjoy getting out
and about instead of sitting next to a telephone? Don't you think they're right to be
suspicious of technology which is turning us all into screen-gazers and zombies. The
young are so hooked on these electronic toys, that they can't really see where they're
going. The elderly don't need all this virtual reality. They are content to listen to the
trees rustling in the wind, to smell the summer grass and to watch the setting sun.