The world is becoming more and more technology-oriented. The gadgets we use are only going to get more complex and impressive in their abilities, and greater in their scope. As technology becomes the defining characteristic of our times, it makes sense to shed one’s inhibitions and join the bandwagon.
I’ve noticed that older people often shy away from technology instinctively. They are overwhelmed by all the gazillion features that smartphones, ipads, and laptops contain. The Internet simply bamboozles them.
They need not worry though. Even younger people often find no use for the endless features on smartphones. And the Internet, though vast and labyrinthine, is primarily used only for its basic functions, which anybody can learn.
Since today’s senior citizens grew up in a different time, it is perhaps impossible for them to get their heads around how a small piece of technology can become central to anybody’s life. My parents still don’t get how I can spend hours and hourson end just sitting in front of my laptop.
I tell them they can, too.
You have fulfilled all your responsibilities; carried out all your duties; sorted out your taxes, your medication,your auto, health, life, pet, and AARP insurance, and your income and investments are safe and adequate. What’s there to do now?
You can’t be travelling or talking to people all the time, and retirees have a lot of time on their hands. Turn to the Internet for some harmless fun.
Get your children or grandchildren to teach you online video games. They will keep you sharp.
Social networking will tell you what your friends and family are up to even if none of them bother ringing you anymore.
You can download free photo-editing software and tweak your old photographs with them. You will have so much fun with this, you won’t even realize it’s 2am and that you have to be up at 5!
You can watch an endless number of movies via online film subscriptions, and not just Hollywood movies either.
You can relive your old memories on YouTube by listening to the songs you grew up with.
If you are fond of reading, the Internet is the best thing that could have happened to you.
If there was a discipline you always wanted to pursue but couldn’t, you can do it now. Who cares about attending classes and earning a degree? After all, it’s the knowledge that matters. Love anthropology? Devour the latest research on the Net.
You can keep track of your medical reports, your bank statements, and all your investments in one place.
You can become a better cook than you ever were.
You can create your own music with music editing software.
You can pursue new hobbies, while following online tutorials.
Sign up on forums for people of similar age groups and interests as yours.
If you are alone, try online dating.
Finally, you can start writing for fellow retirees: Create your own blog, or sign up with blogger communities, to share your experience and wisdom with others. You never know who will end up taking heart from your words.
Yes, there is a danger of getting carried away on the Internet, but the more you use it the better you will be able to moderate your use of it.
And while a retired person is busy doing all of the above, they are enjoying themselves to the hilt. And not ruminating about the past, or worrying about a tomorrow that’s looking increasingly uncertain for all of us, regardless of our age. They are focusing on making the most of the time they have now,with the enthusiasm and glee of a child who has just discovered a new world. Sleep on time, get plenty of exercise, watch your diet, and laugh out loud with YouTube videos!
Lori Wagoner is a marketing and business consultant working with All Car Insurance Companies, which is a realtime online platform for reviews of auto insurance companies, comparison of quotes, and discussion/resources related to the car insurance sector in the U.S. Catch Lori on Twitter @LoriDWagoner.