There is nothing more frustrating for an early adopter than a family member or friend who just can't stand new technology- yes, I'm looking at you Mom! The good news is that there are great tech gifts for even the most determined Luddites, some that may even help lure them out of the tech-hating camp. Here is a roundup of the gadgets and gizmos most likely to endear you to the less tech-savvy in your life.
The most successful tech gift I've ever given was the digital picture frame preloaded with a selection of family photos that I gave to Mom one Christmas. She opened the box, picked a location, plugged in the frame, and instantly felt like she had joined the digital age. If your recipient has some tech skills, keeping the frame up to date is a breeze; if not, just make sure you upload enough pictures to keep the display dynamic until the next time you visit. Digital frames are available in a range of prices with a variety of features- stick to a simple interface with lots of capacity when gifting to the tech-challenged.
Even the most determined tech-hater is likely to thank you for a GPS unit- the gift that keeps on giving every single time you get into your car. I confess, when my husband gave me a Garmin Nuvi for our anniversary, I was skeptical at best, but one road trip later and I was in love. Easy to use right out of the box, a GPS unit is a great gift for any driver.
After decades of family photos full of demon eyes, missing heads, and blurry weirdness, I leapt eagerly into the digital camera age- Mom, not so much. Only after her reliable 35mm started eating film did she finally give in to the pressure to go digital; she discovered the joy of instantly reviewing photos and has never looked back. Digital cameras make great transition gifts because the learning curve is fairly flat for anyone familiar with point and shoot film cameras; just be sure to pick one that offers a great range of fully automatic options with an easy to understand menu system. Even better, pick one with that is compatible with a digital photo printer that makes prints without the need for a computer- just plug and print!
Though many of us have made the transition to fully digital music libraries, there are still plenty of people dealing with a mix of musical media and the hardware necessary to listen to it all. If you are looking for a gift for a music lover who never completed the transformation from vinyl to cassette, let alone from CD to MP3, then an all-in-one stereo system might be the perfect gift. Most of these units can play CDs, cassettes, and LPs making them the perfect gift for the tech resisters (though 8 track aficionados are admittedly out of luck).
Maybe the best gift you can give to family or friends who dislike technology is the gift of your time and experience. Have a conversation about technology, offering to answer questions, to explain new hardware and software options, to help plan for a new purchase, etc. Your enthusiasm for technology might just prove contagious, but even if it doesn't, your willingness to listen and to share will be greatly appreciated.