I’m in the same boat. It’s a shame how exclusive it often feels. I get really excited when anyone in my family expresses the slightest bit of interest (Mom: “I should really learn that Instagram.”) They’re much more protective of their time and attention though. If something feels like a big time-suck, they drop it much faster than we do. We’ll just keep complaining about being distracted but keep doing it anyway.
But similar to your mom, My mom celebrated her 60th birthday this year and was super disappointed by the restaurant’s customer service. Typically, she’d send a complaint over email but this time I said let’s try Twitter. I @ mentioned the CEO of the chain and the next day we got a DM telling us to send him our details. The next day, the associate called to apologize; he said head office called investigating the complaint. I knew then I’d converted her. Or at least she understood in a very real way how to use it and what you could do with it.
I agree that their perspective is really valuable (and refreshing!), and shouldn’t be dismissed. It’s very similar to the case for disabled, beginners, and other extreme users.
“In the particular lies the universal” !
PS: I collect examples of this tension here: oldpeoplenewtech.tumblr.com
PPS: What sorts of platform issues would you want to get their perspective on?