'You can't teach an old dog new tricks' - how often have you heard that said? Well, you CAN.
Joining the world of blogging
Three years ago, at the age of 61, I decided to start a blog, as I wasn't getting anywhere with my books and I needed an outlet for my writing. The blog is now visited by hundreds of people every week. It has won awards, and I regularly host other writers and bloggers. Three years ago also, I decided to join Twitter as writing is a lonely occupation, and I felt I needed to connect with other people. I now have over 2,000 followers from all over the world. I speak to some of them every day, and have actually met up with a couple. If I have any 'techie' problems, I just post a Tweet, and some kind person will always step in to help me out.
I would now definitely say, hand on heart, that the three best things about being a pensioner are: my pension, my bus pass, and my presence on social media.
I have met so many amazing people, shared laughs, tears, hugs (digitally) and learned so much. If you are reading this, then you are one of the amazing people. But there are so many of us who are still unconnected, who think that the internet is 'not for them', who are afraid of learning 'new tricks'.
Connecting with friends and family.
If only they knew! Recently my elderly friend Pauline, who lives in sheltered accommodation finally caved and got herself a laptop (OK, I had been nagging her for ages). She now has a Facebook page, from which she can talk to her scattered family and see pictures of the latest additions. She can email and recently, when a fall put her out of action, she went online and ordered in her shopping. Her daughter bought her a tablet for Christmas, and she is now busily downloading books (including mine... bless) and games to keep her occupied in the evenings. Not on Twitter yet, but I'm working on it. Pauline is 78 and lives alone. Not any more! Thanks to the internet, her world has expanded and she has made new friends and discovered new family.
But for every Pauline, there are other people who are scared to dip a toe into the digital pool. So here's my challenge: If you know someone like this, make it your New Year's Resolution to teach them a 'New Trick'. They will thank you, trust me.