"We Can't Read The Small Print"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, June 6, 2015

Have you noticed how really small the small print is on everything? Recognition of the fact the population is aging leads many announcements — in media, advertising etc. Ads for senior discounts, senior clubs, special senior dinner hours, etc. Hospitals feature special health fairs targeting the seniors, some department stores offer special shopping hours for the aging.

Everyone is jumping on the senior bandwagon, believing they are the greatest block of spending public out there.

We are all getting old and young people are waiting to wed and planning smaller families, therefore the older population will continue to dominate. Why then is everyone making it harder for us by miniaturizing everything? The worst is the small print. Most prescription medications come with a printed paper big enough to cover a table. At the top of it, in huge print, they state: WARNING, and in standard print is a message to read and heed the directions. What follows is in smaller print, so small many elders who wear bi-focal glasses cannot read it. Those using that small type should note not only have seniors stopped taking their meds because it’s so hard to read the directions, they are refusing to read any papers in small print.

We are told to “watch what we eat,” how about trying to read the ingredient list on food products in the store? Most of them, if you can find them, are in tiny print. The small print on web pages also is tough to read. Government sites that all of us visit from time to time are the worst.

Most households these days have at least one magnifying glass. Many of us have a collection of them, and they keep getting bigger and stronger. It seems as soon as the tool gets larger, the print gets smaller. It’s a puzzle why the print is shrinking. Is it the cost of the ink? I’ve noticed it takes more ink in my desktop printers to keep up with my columns I print out.

Maybe it’s the cost of paper. That seems a common factor where we use paper, “Less for more.” Remember when ads used to read, “More for less.” Some publications are improving their print, the Huron Tribune for one, and the latest change looks great. Recently, some magazines have taken note that elders prefer to read from paper instead of a screen. One reason is they can put it down and return to it when they are ready. I’ve noticed among my boating publications a return to print from the digital and those that never left are offering larger print.

Print is not the only small item that makes everyday activities difficult for the elderly. Packaging can present a real problem, especially those plastic sealed types that require scissors the size of hedge clippers to get into. Caps on bottles of pills, defined as child proof, are often everyone proof. Water bottle caps can really be troublesome. Between the thin, plastic bottle and the seemingly heat-sealed tops, one often gets a shower trying to get a drink.

As I see it, if the elders are the ones everyone is targeting to buy their goods, why not make it easier on them?


Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.