– Gagandeep Kaur
‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ This proverb normally goes good when it comes to scientific progression but in present times, this has been validated by the seniors in our life who have invented their potential of learning like never before, when it was required the most. COVID-19 lockdown has definitely accelerated the use of technology and our grandparents, parents and even senior teachers did not leave any stone unturned to catch up with the fast-paced digitalization. Today’s is a hyperconnected world and to sustain in such a place our elderly citizens and Gen X had to keep pace with Gen Z. Therefore, willingly or unwillingly, our seniors had to learn the use of technology. The generation which was still struggling to adopt smartphones as reality took the challenge that Coronavirus presented to them and upgraded themselves to meet the moment. They have now been using the internet and browsing through various platforms and apps to learn
new things. Feeling confident about using electronics to go online, they now want to stay engaged with the outside world through the newly discovered virtual world. The people who preferred to visit friends and relatives in person to feel connected with them were not deterred because of their handicap of not knowing computers and have readily expanded their horizon to become digitally savvy. This cohort of people is now spending many hours a day on various social media platforms to stay connected with others. Video calls have now replaced the social club and fitness club gatherings and kitty parties of our seniors. Having multiple social media handles is the new rage amongst Gen X and has already become a status symbol for them.
The generation which never believed in any other form of the transaction other than cash has now learnt net banking to shop online and is making transactions using UPI transfers and e-wallets. Even their monthly visits to doctors have now taken a new shape wherein our oldies are now meeting their doctors online and being digitally literate, are now able to check their lab reports on the net after getting samples collected from their homes.
Reading newspapers or magazines which had become a daily feature of all the senior citizens all over the world has now become a thing of the past as these new computer literates now browse through news feeds available on the net. They have even managed to change their tastes according to the changing scenario. In the absence of new episodes of their favourite TV shows, they have resorted to the web series that they have access to, through various OTT platforms, all thanks to their newly acquired knowledge of using the internet to their benefit.
Just as the government is easing out lockdown restrictions slowly and steadily, our elderlies have been taking baby steps to get the pulse of today’s times. So even long after lockdown restrictions are gone from the face of Earth, digital literacy embraced by our seniors is here to stay, proving the fact that digitally literate oldies are a by-product of COVID-19.