I know a few senior citizens who do not believe in the latest communication technology. They do not own a mobile nor do they care to stay connected with their near and dear ones through the ‘Net. They look at gadgets with contempt. They believe that the development on the ICT (Information Communication Technology) front has ruined one to one relationships. They believe these fancy gadgets have ensured one cannot have a normal conversation with anyone, especially with the younger generation, without repeated interruptions, to the point that one loses interest in continuing with the conversation.
I also belonged to such a group until 12 years ago when I acquired my first mobile, and within a couple of months I was hooked on to it, and I realized what I was missing. As long as I was active in my job, either the mobile never stopped ringing or I kept it busy making calls.
Today, post retirement, the situation has changed. Though I still cannot do without a mobile, it hardly rings because the number of calls has come down drastically. This is reflected in my disappointment when I see no missed calls after a meeting where I had put the mobile on silent mode and when I return to the general mode!
Not for me the latest 2G, 3G or any other smart phones. I still feel more comfortable with my basic mobile. I find that the touch screen technology is not meant for impatient people like me. At the slightest touch it starts rolling and I have to go back and forth to freeze the icon I have to click on. In fact my son presented me with a mobile which had both touch screen and normal features. I found that within six months the touch screen stopped working because I was continuously pressing the button instead of gently touching it. After three break downs in one year, I have gone back to my old mobile with basic functions..
As for browsing through the `Net, I feel most comfortable with my good old PC at home. Many of my tech-savvy classmates and friends have switched to Tablets and rave about its versatality. Some of them even use the gadget to do online babysitting of their grandkids living abroad! However, I find the touch screen of the Tablets daunting…once again!
I am computer literate enough to get the things I want done using the computer. The facility to communicate with hundreds of my contacts instantly through email or Facebook has helped me in keeping away the `loneliness demon` which overtakes many senior citizens who are not using new communication technology, to stay connected to the world.
On the negative side, is the irritation caused by the deluge of `Forwards` I receive from well-meaning friends or acquaintances. Very often the same `Forward` is received from different sources because I am on the email contact lists of the persons forwarding the mail. The worst culprits are those who forward the mail to you with email ids of all those to whom they have forwarded the mail. Sometimes the list is so long that you have to search for the main contents of the mail. I was also guilty of this mistake until a friend suggested that I forward the mail to myself with ‘Bcc’ to all the other e-contacts I am targeting.
With growing number of old people living alone it makes sense for them to stay connected with the world through the mobile or the `Net. The advantage of ICT far outweighs the disadvantages!