What just happened? Jan 1st was just upon us not too long ago and now it has vanished in thin air, literally.. The end of Q1 was a distant two months away. And the end of Q2 is just in front of us, racing at a rapid pace to get past us.
People who are not computer savvy are already being left behind because of their computer knowledge illiteracy.
I think basic computer skills can be learnt by almost anyone. Like anything new, a bit of effort is needed to learn how to use these “contraptions” (as my dad calls them). But the way the future is heading, it may not be necessary to have any form of computer knowledge. Enter the age of a mobile phone + stills camera + movie camera + calculator + radio + video player + calendar + Tasks To Do… the list goes on. More commonly known and recognized as a smartphone. It also has A.I. – Artificial Intelligence.
More and more services like medical and dental appointments run by the government, regular medication dispensation, know where the nearest clinic or medical service that specializes in your health needs; restaurants, house utilities, etc; are all downloaded on your smartphones through applications or “apps” as they are more commonly known. These include bank accounts, investment portfolios and stuff like that. Almost every activity that you want to connect or relate to, has an app for your smartphone.
Registration of the Covid-19 vaccine is on the MySajetera app, a Malaysian government initiative. So, if you are one of those like my mother who does not have a smartphone; you will be left behind. Thank goodness that my dad has one, My dad registered my mum as a dependent on his account. In order for my mum to get her vaccination jab; my dad had to show my mum’s appointment which showed up in his MySejatera account on his phone, at the vaccination centre. To get vaccinated; you have to prove that you have an appointment which will show on the MySejatera app. Of course, the alternative is to print out the appointment scheduled from this app or from its website on a computer.
It is not about an era of change. It is about moving into a new time dimension at warp speed.
The smartphone has become an integral part of our lives, so much so, that it is hard to be without it even for a minute. That very thought frightens my mother who is about to turn 84 years in a few days time. She busies herself making her superb butter cakes. She is so afraid to own one of these smartphone devices because it would mean all her time is spent with her face glued to it.
With almost everything you do from banking, to shopping online for groceries, to registering for the vaccination against Covid-19, to being in touch with your loved ones through various social media; it is no wonder that one may be hard pressed to put the smartphone down, even for a minute.
For the elderly, not me; for the elderly; it can be frightful. That is why my mum is frightened to have one of these “smartphones”. Funny how, I, who am about to turn 63 years old in a few days; do not see myself in this same light “elderly” or category. Then, when I read or hear various media reports about the elderly…and they refer to the elderly being above 60 years of age…. I think the age for the elderly category should be revised upwards to 70 years. Not that I am embarrassed about being over 60, it is just that I picture elderly being really….er… elderly – health issues, etc…
Yes, it is a device of convenience. Will there come a time when we cannot even put it down for a second, to take a sip of coffee?