Time to stop the skepticism, over 60s – let's be positive instead!

It was just the other day that I was having a conversation with a friend about wanting to buy glasses online. Immediately she expressed worry about buying some spectacles on the internet, despite there being very little difference between the two transactions except for the obvious inability to try frames on. It got me thinking: why are we over 60s so skeptical of new things? And how can we become more positive about things that are new to us?

I explained to my friend that buying glasses online was quite popular now and all I needed to do was choose frames online and either put in a photo of myself and try them on virtually, or have 5 sent to me, free of charge. I chose the latter and had 5 frames sent through to me. My friend grew increasingly skeptical and wondered how the company would possibly be able to get my prescription right. Once she realised the logic and how the dispensary would not want to give me a wrong prescription – and I would know if it was wrong and ask for a refund – she warmed to the idea.

I myself stopped my skeptical thinking just by letting go and giving in to the “fear” – the fear of something new and perceived to be dangerous. So far, I’ve not had any regrets. I actually wish I had started some things earlier as I can see my aforementioned friend is getting left behind as the world turns digital. Soon I suspect we won’t even use cash – then, where will those skeptics be?

This isn’t the only example I can think of where over 60s feel apprehensive and closed minded about new things or new technology. I do know, though, that there are so many who are inquisitive, it’s just that there is still a sense that some may not trust digital technologies such as internet banking (won’t they steal my information? A bank teller could do the very same if you walked in), smart phones (I don’t want them to know what I’m doing), online shopping (they’ll steal my credit card information/I don’t trust delivery services), music and video streaming (it’s too hard to understand) and even Uber ride sharing (I prefer a taxi/I don’t want to use an app). Then there’s the doubt of dating online, new TV shows, some overseas destinations and Googling health symptoms. Are you guilty of being wary of any of these things?

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I’m not sure where it stems from but as seniors, we often have to save our money as much as possible and the risk of losing it all to something intangible (over which we have a perceived lack of power), well, that is too much to bear. Or perhaps it’s because we see those poor elderly men and women on the TV who have lost everything thanks to online scams, giving out bank details, by using the wrong websites – the list goes on. All those shows and news stories serve to do is scare us, but we should not be scared.

I dare you to be positive about those things you aren’t sure about. Whether it’s changing to online banking or even if it’s buying clothes online, why not have a go? The majority of websites that request your credit card information will be secured and encrypted, so there is no way you can have it stolen. PayPal is also a great method of purchase as it protects you and is one of the most trusted ways of paying online in the world.

I dare you to go outside your comfort zone, but to also use common sense! Only input your credit card details or personal information if you’re sure about the website. Look for a lock in the URL/search bar. And just have fun with it. There are so many new things out there that can really simplify your world, so open your mind to it all!


Tell us today: are you skeptical about any new ways of doing things or new technologies? Why or why not? What is something that you want to try but have been scared to before (i.e. online shopping, dating, banking)?