The Internet is still growing in leaps and bounds, even though it’s been around for a few decades. Every year, more and more of the things we do every day can be done over the Internet – from paying the bills, to communication, to shopping.
But what does this mean to us gals and guys over 60? Are we glued to our devices and live our lives on a display screen?
Or have we chosen to stay behind? Are we suffering the inefficiencies of a land line, bank teller wickets, and cashier lines at the shops?
One of the biggest new trends moving into 2020 is cash no longer being accepted as a method of payment. Oh yes, thanks to the Internet, we are moving towards a cashless society. It’s slowly happening in big cities and spreading through the chain stores.
You can’t blame businesses for this. It’s logistics, that ridiculous word that means nothing. You see, cash requires counting and responsibility. It involves balancing at the end of the day, and having to pay the difference if it doesn’t add up.
Employees these days won’t put up with this responsibility, especially when they are paid minimum wage. A cashless cash register (guess they have to change the name) means that there is nothing to steal.
Bars, restaurants, and shops are embracing this trend, as their losses from theft are eating into their profits.
Moving away from cash makes it all so easy. To pay, you simply ‘tap’ your card on a small ‘machine’ and Bob’s your Uncle. You may also have to enter a short code, but it’s all super quick, and off you go.
How does this cashless society feel? Many of us are not comfortable with it for two reasons. One, it can be challenging to set up (more trips to the bank), and two, it’s concerning as it doesn’t involve the ‘normal’ physical activity we’re used to with cold hard cash.
All this can become a worrisome mystery, seemingly unreal, a prank, or a scam. We also have security and privacy concerns, and what about identify theft, and all the other problems we hear on the news?
We’re moving into 2020, and everyday more people go online to take full advantage of the services. Does this include you? I think it may. While so many of us were apprehensive and didn’t trust computers a few years ago, we are starting to come around, as we see everyone else doing it.
We see how the Internet has grown and that almost everyone has jumped in. We’ve realized that errors are fixed, security is improving, and the Esc key lets us easily undo our mistakes. Best of all, it’s so easy to use.
We’ve learned that we don’t have to go to the bank to pay our bills, we don’t have to wait endlessly on hold to make an appointment, and we can easily do our grocery shopping from our living room and have it delivered. Unfortunately, it won’t put the groceries away, but I’m sure that option is coming.
Remember a few years ago when so many of us said we just needed a mobile phone so we can call and get calls? That we didn’t like all the apps, buttons, and icons, not to mention the tiny screens. I think they listened.
My cell phone screen is huge, and easy to read, as I can control the size of what I see. Yes, they are listening to us Boomers, making the Internet where we want it to be.
Do you still use your cell for only phone calls? I’ll bet that most of you barely use the phone call functionality. Why pay for phone calls when messaging, chatting, and texting are all free?
Do you have your Sunday brunch or dinner with your grandkids on a video call? Are you watching your favourite streaming show while you’re waiting for an appointment?
Maybe you’re doing your grocery shopping, or paying that parking ticket, making reservations for dinner, and checking out the exercise schedule at your gym as you check out when and where that new movie is playing.
And you do this during your morning coffee. It used to take hours to get all this done, but now it’s done in minutes.
I don’t have to remember when my next hair, dentist, and doctor appointments are. Now they are automatically stored in my calendar, after I make the on-line booking. I have electronic receipts for all my bill payments, without having bits of paper to sort through and store somewhere.
I can instantly find out if a restaurant is open and browse their menu to decide if I really want to eat there.
I can text messages with any number of people at the same time, which is super useful for figuring out where to meet for our late afternoon walk. And then I can post photos during the walk, to make all my other friends jealous they didn’t join us.
Our world has expanded with the Internet. We are enabled with possibilities. We’re using the world wide web to write books, attend conferences, build on-line courses to teach others what we know.
We’re even making videos of our pets, or cooking, and our hobbies, to post to our friends. Finally, we collaborate with people who share our passions and interests.
We can do so much on the Internet, making our lives easier, reducing our stress, and keeping us connected. Now, as 2020 is on our doorstep, we’re exploring what more we can do on the Internet and figuring out how to do it. And for all that we can’t do yet, for sure we will get there soon.
How do you use the Internet in your everyday life? Or are you too apprehensive to trust it? What concerns do you have about the Internet? What possibilities have you explored thus far? Please share with our community!