Charles Spencer

The great divide | 23 April 2011

It seems to me that society can now be divided into three different types of people on principles that have nothing to do with class, wealth or status, and everything to do with one’s ease — or lack of it — with modern technology.

It seems to me that society can now be divided into three different types of people on principles that have nothing to do with class, wealth or status, and everything to do with one’s ease — or lack of it — with modern technology.

It seems to me that society can now be divided into three different types of people on principles that have nothing to do with class, wealth or status, and everything to do with one’s ease — or lack of it — with modern technology.

In this arrangement, my parents, who live comfortably in Surrey with two cars in the drive and a delightful garden, would belong to the underclass. They have no computer at home, would have little idea how to use one if they did and even struggle with mobile phones. The last time my octogenarian Dad broke down in his car he had to walk miles to find a functioning telephone box because he had, as always, forgotten his mobile, and even if he’d had it about him it probably wouldn’t have been charged-up anyway.

Then there’s my 18-year-old son who had IT lessons at school and is able both to compose and record music on his laptop. Technology seems to hold no terrors for him. In contrast, muggins here still uses an ancient Walkman after two different iPods died a speedy death in my hands. I tote a selection of CDs with me whenever I travel and have become aware of pitying looks from the young whenever I place one of the silver discs into the trusty old machine.

But I did feel I had made a tremendous advance when I signed up to Spotify, the music-streaming service that allows you to listen to almost any song you want to hear via your computer.

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