TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY AND OLDIES HAVE TO ACCEPT IT

TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY AND OLDIES HAVE TO ACCEPT IT

Currently Solar Solve is promoting stress and fatigue management, especially on board ships and so we try to have a connection when creating reading material for stakeholders and website visitors.

Yesterday I had to renew my driving license because here in the UK drivers over 70 years of age have to renew their license every 3 years at www.gov.uk/renew-driving-licence-at-70.

I did it online as it is a very easy process, a little bit lengthy but not complicated in my view, I even input my passport number without wondering why they wanted it.  Part way through I got a message saying the current photo on my license was out of date and I needed a new current photo to complete the application and it gave me 2 options.  The first one, if I remember rightly, was to abort the process, get a new photo taken and re-apply by post.  The second one said the passport office had a current photo of me that was acceptable and if I wanted to take that option the photo would be good for my driving license applications for the next ten years.  Obviously, no contest, option 2 it was and the process was all completed in less than 10 minutes.

Similarly when I renew my vehicle’s Road Tax on line.  In the old days we had to fill in the form, attach the Insurance Certificate and Test Certificate (if required) and a cheque and post them all off to get the new Tax Disc.  That’s all gone by the wayside with online renewal, everything is checked electronically.  So I am a convert.

My good lady wife, Lilian and my widowed sister Brenda on the other hand dislike technology with a vengeance and refuse to be cajoled into accepting it, at just about any cost.  Lilian uses a credit card and thinks contactless is brilliant but that’s it; she does not have a computer of any description, or a mobile phone.  If I insist some things are best done on the computer she sits beside me and we do it together, which is nice but I like the women round me to be independent.

Brenda is not so much of a problem for me because she is very independent until she gets a letter about renewing her driving license, that is worded to suggest the only way she can do it is online.  So she rings me in a panic then comes over and we sit and do it together, which again is nice.  Nevertheless, I do wonder how other people of our age, who don’t have access to computer literate relatives or friends, manage to cope and how much stress they endure as they receive more and more communications from organisations that imply they must do things online as the only acceptable way?

To be fair to Lilian and Brenda I do work on computers every day and can easily see the benefits and to be fair to the majority of organisations most of them do have instructions on how non-technical people can make contact and achieve their objectives either by telephone or post.  The problem is, the information is not always displayed effectively so the uninitiated start to panic after the first sentence or paragraph and either they never reach the ‘other ways’ bit, or if they do they are so distressed that they don’t realise what it is indicating.  By that time they have already given up and are ready to shoot themselves.

Yet another problem is the fact that whilst we three are in our mid-seventies we know many people who are in their early nineties and likely to see their mid-nineties.  Consequently, we are wondering at what point all organisations will decide to become ‘online only’ and will it be in 20 years time or much sooner?  I very much expect it will be the latter, don’t you?