Seniors and the iPad are becoming quite a team these days. In fact, it is looking like love at first sight.

“To this technology-ninny, it’s clear in my compromised 100th year. That to read and to write are again within sight of this Apple iPad pioneer.” – Virginia Campbell, age 99.



Seniors and the iPad are becoming quite a team these days. In fact, it is looking like love at first sight.

News stories in papers and on the web are plentiful about how the iPad seems to fit seniors, hand in glove, if you will.

Now mind you, these are not advertisements but legitimate news stories that say that it appears the iPad was indeed made for seniors.

In fact one story calls it a “senior saver.” Phillip Moeller writes for money.usnews.com saying, “By providing Internet and e-mail access, and a full range of media capabilities that can be remotely downloaded, the iPad can help seniors avoid becoming isolated. If you can’t get to the library, the video store or the newsstand, they can come to you.”

And take the story of senior Virginia Campbell, whose experience with learning the iPad went viral on YouTube.

Reports say it was like falling in love for Virginia when she used an iPad for the first time at nearly 100 years of age.

Dan Reisinger, in a technology blog on cnet.com, described how this 99-year-old Portland, Ore.-area woman is using the iPad to overcome medical difficulties. She is in her 100th year of life and suffers from glaucoma, making it nearly impossible to read and write, her two favorite pastimes.

A story in The Oregonian newspaper also reported that the iPad has clearly “changed her life.”

Campbell’s daughter, Ginny Adelsheim, told The Oregonian “that her mother is now reading books on the iPad, thanks to its ability to increase the size of text to a readable level. Campbell has also increased the brightness on the display to further enhance her reading experience. And although she has never owned a computer, Virginia is now writing poetry on the tablet.”

And in addition to that, she is a YouTube star. A video of Virginia trying out her new iPad, using a computer for the first time in her nearly 100 years, is wildly popular. You can find it by searching for “Virginia’s new iPad.”

After watching the video, I decided that if Virginia can do it, so can I.

I bought one.

The hype was true; it was easy to learn and easy to use.

However, I did have one small problem in the beginning.

No matter how many times I tried to adjust “General Settings,” I could not get sound to play through the earphones.

I tried to turn the little button on the side a cajillion times. Or is it off? I still don’t know. Anyway, there was no sound – nothing, nada – coming through the earphones. I tried three different sets, too.

I was too embarrassed to call my kids, who would surely lecture me about how simple the iPad is and say something like: “Come on, Mom, it’s just like an iPhone. How hard can it be?”

There was nothing left to do but get in the car, drive an hour to the Apple Store and admit to some 19-year-old techy that I could not get the earphones to work.  

It took him two minutes.

“Ma’am, you have to push the jack in very hard until you hear it click,” he said kindly. “You didn’t have it in all the way. It’s just like the iPhone, yunno.”

Uh-huh.