I don't have the figures for Malaysia, but based on a simple survey of the people I know or have met, I am inclined to think only a very small percentage of seniors here are internet users, and of those that are, the majority probably don't go online on a regular basis. Many have no interest at all in wanting to learn how to use the internet. Their reason (excuse)? "I'm too old to learn."
Which is sad, because there will come a time when their only connection to the outside world, to their family and friends may well be via the internet.
|Staying in touch is good for our health - AARP|
Why do I say that? Well, this illustration above from AARP clearly explains why. Like it or not, as the years pass, we will find it increasingly more difficult to get out of the house for a trip to the shops or have coffee with friends. Already we are seeing this happening with our elderly parents.
We are social beings. We need to be in touch with people. Having a network of friends to spend time with and meeting people keeps us going. But when you spend much of the day alone, loneliness soon creeps in. From there, it is only a matter of time before you sink into depression.
You can be living with your family. But with everyone so busy with their own interests, there is hardly anyone at home who has the time, the patience or the interest to sit down and have a chat with you. For the widowed, the loneliness leaves an emptiness that is hard to fill. You need someone of your age group that you can confide in.
So while you are still physically able, get out more. Go on a trip with your friends, catch a movie, attend a concert, volunteer for a community project, sign up for classes. Life is for living, whatever your age.
Be IT-literate. Learn to use the internet for social networking and emailing because one day that might be your lifeline to staying connected with your friends.
And while you are learning to use the internet, you might as well learn how to use a smart phone or an iPad. Your children will either get you one for your birthday, or pass you theirs when they upgrade to the latest model. They will want to stay in touch with you, to make sure you are okay at home.
Embrace the digital world. Learn the basics. You really have little choice, unless you want to spend your retirement years in social isolation.