Time to stop the skepticism, over 60s – let’s be positive instead! 77



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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?

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)?

Guest Contributor

  1. I don’t think this has anything to do with being over 60 some people have always been skeptical and now they are over 60, a very different problem

  2. Regarding using credit card on line. In 1997 I wanted to buy overseas movies and Bankcard wouldn’t work. The most trouble I had was getting a Master Card (for $500) in my own name. Even though I worked I was still just a mere wife. I figured I would be able to stand a $500 loss if the worse came to the worst. Eventually proved to the NAB that I was worthy and from then on had the thrill of receiving movies not available for sale in Australia.

  3. I guess it is sometimes a matter of wanting the different life style lots of people like the personal interaction.

  4. I love shopping and booking holidays online, have been doing it for years without any problems. Thankfully we have all this wonderful technology to make life easier.

  5. I’m not over 60. I was having difficulties with technical stuff in my 30s & 40s. Now, in my 50s, I get my kids to organise the technical stuff.

  6. I most likely wouldn’t use this service because it is taking jobs away from the people who work in optometrists. There aren’t enough jobs to go around now as our young people are finding out. Every time we use an online service we take a job away from someone, isn’t it about time we started to think of that instead of using these services. Technology should be there to help people do a better job not take someones job completely. A good example of this is self-service registers, in our local Woolworths there used to be 3 express registers now there are none. Even if you take into account that somebody may now have a job servicing these registers that means 2 people no longer have a job, casual, part time or other wise.

  7. I do all my banking online and I buy things online. Not clothing because I like to try them on, but I do heaps online. Last week I set up my Commbank app on my phone and can do heaps now, including if you don’t have your card, getting money from ATM. This came about because someone accessed my account through an ATM and tried to get money from it. They got caught trying too many times and this wasn’t online. Keep up or get left behind I say. My 80 year old mother got rid of her passbook for the first time last year…My 60 year old brother won’t do anything online.

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  8. I am not sure if it has to do with being 60+ or a combination of initial dislike of change and the fact that we who are older, weren’t taught this new technology, but have had to learn in while we were still doing other things and it can be frustrating for us – whom have less patience while the younger generation, who learn this stuff in school have the ability to see different ways to solve a tech problem that we just can’t or don’t have the patience to figure out. I always take this attitude with most of this stuff and that is simply who is going to win today – me or the the new smart TV –

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