It might be a surprise to many people that American cultural icon William Shatner was until very recently reluctant to take advantage of some of the most common 21st-century tools.
The veteran actor, whose character in Star Trek interacted with computers by voice, used a communicator, fired phasers and beamed down to alien planets, has admitted that he used to dislike facebook, e-mail and other hallmarks of the digital age.
But no more. In fact, Shatner has launched a project on Kickstarter, a fundraising platform used by millions of people to raise capital for creative projects and businesses, to promote his new book “Catch Me Up” that teaches seniors how to reinvent themselves using new technology.
The book will include stories Shatner collected from people “who had been laid off, lost careers, had been downsized and replaced by younger people with more tech skills; but who actually fought back and won, ” he says on his Kickstarter campaign page.
The project is aimed at people over 50, who the octogenarian says “have been pretty beat up lately with downsizing, a slumping economy, and so many changes in the way things work.”
He said the book is about “achieving great things in your life at any age” and “how to leverage the new technology around us today to do anything you want, at warp speed.”
“Until just recently I hated new technology, ” he explains in a video. “My ‘smart’ phone made me feel stupid. My grandkids had to show me how to use Facebook. I refused to even have an email account. You know what I found out? Without this know-how, I was becoming irrelevant … and a guy like me can’t afford to be irrelevant. So I did something about it.”
Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, more than 100, 000 projects have been funded, with hundreds of millions of dollars pledged, according to Reuters.
Shatner’s portrayal of 23rd century Captain James T. Kirk in the science fiction franchise catapulted him into the stratosphere of worldwide recognition.
Shatner, an Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor, is a man of many talents.
A longtime equestrian enthusiast, Shatner and his wife Elizabeth established the Therapeutic Riding Consortium Endowment for Israel with the help of the Jewish National Fund in 2006 to fund horse-riding therapy programs for children with cognitive, physical and/or emotional disabilities.