Is the digital age really better than the good old days?

IRON MOUNTAIN — On the phone the other night, my mother frantically asked me one of her most frequent questions: can you fix my phone? She proceeded to tell me that she once again had run out of storage and she had received a message saying that if she didn’t do something in 30 days her photos would be erased, and she needed to update her cloud. She said, “What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Why can’t I find the cloud? I don’t know what the cloud is or why I need it, but I do know that I can’t take photos anymore. Can Rob help me?”

For those of you who don’t know what the cloud is, you can join my mother in your misery; you are not alone. The Cloud is a service for Apple users to store photos, documents, and information so that the actual storage of a phone isn’t being used. The Cloud is located somewhere in the world wide web (no one really knows where), and as a Samsung user, I’m not extremely familiar with it, but my husband, avid iPhone man that he is, needs it, and every month we pay $2 so that he can store his digital files in the digital world.

As I reluctantly told my mom I wasn’t sure how to help her with her problem, she continued on with her lamenting. She talked about how the internet is supposed to make everything easier, but she thinks it makes everything harder. Millennials have heard this phrase uttered from the mouths of many, and most young people disagree, but I can see my mother’s point. Growing up, my mom would make dozens of photos albums. She made each of us a baby book that went through our first year of life, with stencils and stickers and quirky captions, and I still love to look through each one when I go over to visit. Now, though, as she so keenly pointed out, people don’t print photos anymore. Instead, they make digital photo books on computers from Shutterfly and other programs. She hates the process of downloading photos from a phone or camera onto a computer, uploading them from the computer to the internet, and then spending hours trying to place them in the exact right place while squinting at a blinding screen.

It’s true; photos used to be a lot easier. She’d roll up to the drive through window, hand over her film, and ask for 4-by-6 doubles. A few days later, we’d all sit down at the kitchen table and look through the pictures. Film rolls also used to have a limit, so you never had an exorbitant number of photographs; however, phones and digital cameras seem limitless. On our anniversary trip to New York, I took more than 600 pictures — six hundred. I then went back and deleted, but the total was still 450. The sad reality is that after a while, I’ll forget that I have them, and I won’t look at them for months. I won’t ever print them off, because who can afford to have 450 pictures run at Walgreens? So, there they’ll stay, on my phone, or if they were on my mom’s phone, up in the Cloud.

In this advanced digital age that we live in, the need and desire for immediacy has increased tenfold. The generation of the Millennial and GenXer (yes, my generations) has an exhausting need to share everything to everyone. Social media has demolished privacy, and in a way you’ve basically lost the right to your own face. When I was little, my mother took so many photos that I joked she gave me a phobia of cameras, but in reality, the phobia is really from the fear that once a photo is taken, I have no idea where it will end up. There are certain friends and family members that I refuse to let take my picture, because whether I like it or not, it’ll be on Facebook within minutes.

Before, when people took photos, it maybe ended up in a frame in their home or an album that was tucked away in a drawer, but now, it’s splashed across the pixelated vision of hundreds of people you’ve never met before. The “friends” one has on the numerous social media sites are relentless; there is the list of friends that you have personally, then all of their friend lists, and the lists of their friends’ friends. If your photo is put up by one of your friends, but that person “tags” you in it, then not only their friends see it but so do yours, and so do any mutual friends’ friends that you might have. The endless amount of scenarios is dizzying.

So, is the digital age really easier? It’s a debate that could go on and on, with valid points made on either side, but the real question, is how do we navigate through life in a world that is ever changing and becoming less and less personal? I asked my husband the other night what he thought our kids will have to teach us one day; we grew up in the day of the cell phone and email address but in the future, what we know will inevitably become obsolete, and we’ll be the parents calling our kids asking if they can fix our hovercars. So, again, is it easier? Is it better? Do the pros really outweigh the cons, or is progress really just an illusion? To be continued.

*As this is a two-part article, in the next week I welcome any personal stories or opinions that you my readers may have. Please feel free to email me or call and leave a voicemail with anything you’d like to share.




Scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Sunday: Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Pretty nails, 10 a.m.; library cart, 11 a.m.; brouhaha, 1:15 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts, 10 a.m.; gardening, 11 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; what’s the word?, 1:15 p.m.; bingo with Carol, 2 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking?, 11 a.m.; bunko, 1:15 p.m.; Mass, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; spinning records, 11 a.m.; Daily News, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Room visits, 1 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Exercise, 11 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30 a.m.; high rollers, 10 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; afternoon matinee, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.; bonfire, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book Club, 10 a.m.; prayer, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Animal king, 10 a.m.; Lutheran church, 1:15 p.m.; getting pretty, 1:15 p.m.; Men’s Club, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; United Lutheran church, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Gibson Lake, 10 a.m.; Garden Club, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 2 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Puzzler, 10 a.m.; name that word, 10 a.m.; geri gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.



Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m. daily.

Movie, 10:45 a.m. daily, and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gathering place, 11:40 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 11:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Popcorn Day Fridays.

Protestant Church service, 3 p.m. Sunday.

Exercises, 10 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m.; just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant Church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Did you know?, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Who am I?, 10:15 a.m.; Resident council/food committee, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; crafts, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: Finish lines, 10:15 a.m.; Mass, 2 p.m.; chips n’ chatter, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Parachute, 1:30 p.m. daily.

Monthly support group for grief and loss, 2 p.m. second Monday of the month.

Weekend pet visits.

Sunday: Mass, 9 a.m.; penny ante, 10:15 a.m.; ice cream social, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; life stories, 10:15 a.m.; crafts with Cathy, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; Resident Council, 2 p.m.; magic show, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Help your neighbor, 10:15 a.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; fireside group therapy, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; prayer shawl, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.; music in the park: with Jan and Gino, 6:30 p.m.

Friday: Yoga, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Baking, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish coffee social, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 5:45 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Coffee clutch, 9:30 a.m. daily

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Birthday party, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Music with Crystal, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Trivia, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Dyna Band exercise, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Flippo, 10 a.m.; music with Crystal Hogan, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Parachute fun, 10 a.m.; bingo with Bette, 2 p.m.; manicures and massages, 3:30 p.m.;

Reading from “The Dog from Rodeo Drive,” 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Chair exercises, 10 a.m.; music with Tom Palmer, 2 p.m.; Uno, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; doll and bear display with Valri, 2 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic communion service, 10 a.m.; music by Jan and Gino, 2 p.m.; ice cream soda party, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; poker dice, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3:30 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Life connections, 9:45 a.m. every Monday.

Busy bee, 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rosary 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Sunday: Grace church, 10 a.m.; beauty shop, 10 a.m.; Rummy, 2 p.m.; manicures 2 p.m.

Monday: Bean bag toss, 3:30 p.m.; King’s Corners, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: One-to-one visits, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Pictionary, 3:30 p.m.; bonfire, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Shopping outing, 9 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.; rummy, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10 a.m.; cookout, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Karaoke, 10 a.m.; exercise, 10 a.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.; sensory, 2 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month.

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m.

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook Lucy Korhonen


Meals will be served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m., with the salad bar opening at 4:30 p.m. The dinner donation is $5 for those age 60 and older and $6 for those younger than 60. There is a $1 charge for take-out containers. All are invited.

Cribbage will be played at 1 p.m. Wednesdays and be concluded in time for dinner.

The center is closed Thursday through Sunday.

Monday: Soup, salad, chili dogs, potato chips, baked beans, and homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, lemon pepper cod, French fries, coleslaw, and homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, grilled chicken, potato salad, vegetables, and homemade dessert.

Thursday: Soup, salad, Italian beef, homemade rolls, buttered noodles, and homemade dessert.

A site council meeting takes place at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.

A blood pressure reading can be taken by request at any time while the center is open.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m., crafters, scrap bookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday of the month: Music jam starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Dances take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Admission is $6; coffee is free.

The Photo Club meets 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.

Evening meals are usually on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with the meal served at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $4 is accepted for seniors age 60 and older but not required.

Home-delivered meals are for seniors 60 and older can be delivered seven days a week. Suggested donation is $4 per meal. For information, call Chris Tramotin at 906-774-2256, ext. 235.

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call the center to book a ride.

Felch Center


Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County


Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations needed 48 hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.

Four senior dining locations are listed below:

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage and board games are available. The coffee is always on as well.

Senior Dining Center-Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Aurora


Serving lunch at 11:30 am, Monday through Thursday

Tipler Town Hall


Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Jigsaw puzzles, cribbage, cards and board games are available. The coffee is always on as well.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60.

Morning coffee is available daily.

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50-50 drawing.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60.

Thursday meal, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner at 4:30 p.m.

DICSA operates all meals and transportation out of the Iron River Center. Rides are $2.50 donation for age 60 and older, and $3 required for younger than 60. Call 906-265-6134 to schedule a ride.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Corrie Maule, Meal site manager, 715-251-1603

Jill Anderson, senior center director, 715-251- 4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday.

Transportation to the meal site from the Niagara, Wis., area is offered.

They welcome any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place — join them for lunch and then stay for a meeting or social time.

Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play.

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome.

Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in a while are encouraged to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea, and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50 drawing.

Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50.

If Norway-Vulcan are schools are closed due to snow days, so is the senior center. If the schools are on a two-hour delay, the center remains open.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Puzzles always in the works.

A senior coloring class meets daily. All are welcome. Some materials will be provided.

Telephone reassurance is available for any senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone check to see that all is well.

Iron Mountain Post of the Michigan State Police will be holding a six-week Citizens Academy at the Norway Senior Center. It will run from July 11 to Aug. 15 and will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A certificate will be issued to all participants at the end of the Academy along with cake to celebrate. If interested, please call the center to sign up.

Wednesday — Noon meal with chicken chow mein, Asian mixed vegetables, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Wednesday — Dinner meal at 5 p.m. with barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, soup, salad bar, and dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50/50. Sign up early.

Thursday — Birthday Club meal at noon with ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, soup, salad bar, fruit, juice, and cake. Have a July birthday? Join us for lunch and have your picture on the birthday wall.

Note: A CSFP food card (green card) is available to income-eligible seniors. Make an appointment to get signed up. File of Life packets available at the center.

Note: Ask about the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps people pay their Medicare part B premium. You may be eligible. The local MMAP counselor can be reached at 1-800-803-7174, or dial 211.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Cards: Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.

Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months.

A puzzle table is available to enjoy.

Volunteers are always welcome.)