The Drop-Down Menu
Some of us have lived long enough to remember filling out forms on paper, writing in personal details such as name, address and date of birth. These days it seems most forms are filled out on laptops. Many doctor’s offices are handing iPads to their patients in order to complete a digital form.
Recently an elderly friend pointed out to me that she noticed she is getting closer and closer to the bottom of the drop-down menu when filling in the year of her birth. I wondered how she felt about that. “Not great!” was her reply. “The last thing I want to see is a list of the years left in my life! It’s easy to focus on that detail and feel less hopeful about how long I have left to live.”
People in their late twenties and early thirties tell me they grew up with drop-down menus. Children may be excited when the year of their birth finally signifies they are a teenager. Likewise, teens find positive significance in getting to press the year when they are allowed to drive, will graduate or are officially an adult.
The drop-down menu may be a reminder of our age, but it is far from a complete picture of the lives we have lived or have yet to live.