I have noticed that most of my friends in this age bracket are not ICT-Compliant because the Internet is relatively a recent phenomenon.
This is the information age. If you are 50 and above, you were raised in a bygone era when the newspapers, television and radio were the principal sources of information. Today, we are right in the middle of the 3-screen age in which our main sources of information are, the television, computer and the phone. These are the screen-based devices that drive our current internet civilization.
The internet is the foundation of knowledge and the melting-pot of modern civilization. If you are not involved in the Information and Computer Technology universe, you are living outside the dotcom society. You are a dinosaur; a relic of a past civilization. Today, we live in a global village. Unless you are computer literate, you can’t function optimally in this dispensation.
This article is addressed specifically to those in the middle age bracket, that is 50 and above. I have noticed that most of my friends in this age bracket are not ICT-Compliant because the Internet is relatively a recent phenomenon. Fifty years ago, the internet and the modern computer were still shaping up. Here in Nigeria, we entered the web age not long ago. Most middle-age folks didn’t grow with it like the youth.
However, the algorithms have changed. Everything is now done online. To connect with the world, you have to be able to use an Android phone, and get some level of computer education. Computer literacy is no longer an elite thing, it is a living reality. As recently as the ‘90s, the telephone was seen as a devise of the elite, but with the advent of the GSM, it is no longer so.
You must be part of the internet universe if you want to be part of what’s going on in the world. Therefore, you should open a facebook account, a twitter account and be on whatsapp. Ordinarily, every literate person should know how to send an sms from their phone and read text messages. That’s something we can take for granted. You may not have to use every platform on the social media, but you should be able to follow what’s trending, warts and all.
We know that the social media is prone to abuse. Miscreants have invaded the space and the credibility of many stories is suspect. Even so, you should be following the trend to stay current. These days, we do almost everything online. We transact business, do all manner of registrations, bank activities, name it, online. We pay taxes, school fees, rent, salaries online. Every exchange or social interaction has to be done online, including shopping.
The post office, and courier service, are gradually becoming obsolete, like the telegram, typewriter, the teleprinter and cable telephone. The tech-wonders of yesteryears have become laughable relics of an ancient civilization. Technology is advancing at an alarmingly rate. Robotostic technology is taking jobs away from a highly trained workforce. Office buildings are becoming irrelevant because of online transactions. This will take a direct hit on the property market as we move ahead. You have to be part of this momentous change instead of staying aloof, hoping to get by without it.
That’s not the right attitude. I’d rather you move with the trend and master it. It pays to be part of the action and be contemporary. Be part of the global conversation and reality show going on around you on the social media, on television and the offline world. Most senior citizens think the social media is corrupt, therefore, they can’t be part of it. If you have this attitude, you are wrong.
You can’t be well informed today outside of the ICT world. Very soon, you’d be told you can’t transact your regular business outside the internet. So, get connected. You monitor your pensions online. Your investments in stocks, bonds, pension funds and shares can only be done online in most cases. The option that online transactions offer you is really nice, because from the comfort of your home, you can do all of your businesses.
If you a retiree, the internet gives you the best platforms you can ever dream of to get things done quickly. Your kids can transfer money to you with the press of a button. You get all your bank payment alerts on your phone. You can buy anything online. In fact, the worship service of your church may be streamed live, so if you can’t go to church for whatever reasons, you can follow proceedings online.
Old age is not an excuse to reject ICT education and involvement. In a few years, you may find only Android phones in the market. That’s the type of phone that gives you the best internet connectivity. You can’t be too old to learn how to use all the modern gadgets you need for ICT involvement. These devices: phone, laptop, tablet, etc, are easy to operate. Someone can teach you, in just six weeks, you’d be able to do whatever you want to do online.
The entire leisure industry is internet-based. Music, movies, sports, name it, are there on the web waiting for you to download with the click of a button. Very soon, your keyboard would engage your fingers like a professional typist, and you’d become a budding computer geek. All of the things we have discussed here is feasible if you change your mindset. The benefits are unquantifiable.
“The way to get something done is to stimulate competition” – Charles Schwab
Ok folks, let’s do it next Friday. Stay motivated.
Ladi Ayodeji is an Author, Rights Activist, Pastor and Life Coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & WhatsApp only)