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But, what if you are not, or even don't want to be, on the internet?

(145 Posts)
kittylester Mon 10-Aug-20 17:54:41

There is so much only available via the internet now and I worry about people like my brother and my bill who have no interest in going on line.

We have been looking for a new car for dh but have found that no one will send out brochures - they can only be downloaded. This is a really awkward way to look and compare but, if you are on the internet, it's doable.

And, I wont bore you with the debacle of the garbled automatic messages when my car was serviced today but a simple phone call would have made life so much easier and I wouldn't have felt it necessary to tell the 'consultant' at the garage to sort his flipping systems out.

But, all sorts of things are done on line now.

Paying bills
Dental reminders
Hospital appointments

And countless others. Lots of utilities offered discounts for going paperless.

Demographically, it is more likely to be older people who are not on line and they will be more and more disadvantaged as time goes on.

I find it horrifying. Does anyone else?

Galaxy Mon 10-Aug-20 17:56:41

No I love it, I find it much quicker and more convenient than for example going to a post office to pay car tax.

Lucca Mon 10-Aug-20 17:56:42

Horrified by what ?

Galaxy Mon 10-Aug-20 17:58:49

I am making sure I have a vague understanding of online stuff even if I never intend to use it, so ds has just given me a little demo of Instagram. I dont want to end up in a position where I cant access things die to lack of understanding/familiarity.

Oopsminty Mon 10-Aug-20 17:59:19

What's horrifying?

I know many old people who have embraced technology and love being able to do everything online

Calendargirl Mon 10-Aug-20 18:00:07

Don’t want to sound heartless, but as time goes by, the older people who aren’t on line will die, and I imagine the vast majority of younger people will be fine with doing it all on a computer.

Have to say I would have been really stuck without my son’s help when we first launched ourselves into the online world several years ago. I’m sure anyone without younger family or friends must struggle.

phoenix Mon 10-Aug-20 18:03:54

kitty, I take your point, but on the other side, I'm trying to order some topsoil from a local company, and I wish to heck that they did have a website or some form of internet contact!

I suppose I should be grateful that they have a phone and don't rely on carrier pigeon! Finally got to speak to someone, she said she would put my order "in the book", and believe me, she meant a book, actual paper thing! God only knows when I'll get it!

V3ra Mon 10-Aug-20 18:04:04

My Dad's 89 and he's used internet banking and emails for years.
Occasionally he comments on a family Facebook post.
There is so much information about everything online that you really do need to make the effort these days.

nanaK54 Mon 10-Aug-20 18:04:23

I have two close friends who will not use the internet at all, I think that they are missing out on so much.
One of them won't use a mobile pone either, she is only 67, I find that so hard to understand.

BlueSky Mon 10-Aug-20 18:05:00

Agree with Calendar .Luckily I became computer literate thanks to my job. Otherwise get your children/grandchildren to teach you the basics, it's the only way.

Spangler Mon 10-Aug-20 18:10:44

Bucking the trend is good sport for me. A utility company salesman tried to get me to change supplier. "Will you give me those discounts if I don't pay by direct debit?" "No." "Not much point changing then is there?" We have no direct debits, only my wife and I have access to our bank account.

All our payments are made at the Post Office, except for the BBC, we send a cheque for the TV licence because they withdrew payment at the Post Office.

Never bought anything online, don't have the tap and go credit card, cash is still king. And with vendors struggling following lockdown, it's the buyer who is holding all the aces. Dinosaur, me?

Ilovecheese Mon 10-Aug-20 18:10:45

I am not so much worried about people being left behind as about the total reliance on the internet, if the internet or the electricity should fail or be compromised our whole society would not be able to function without an alternative. Better not to have all our eggs in the one basket.
Firms will continue to give an internet only service because it is cheaper for them, we can't stop that, but I do think that central and local government departments should keep an alternative in case the worst should happen.

MerylStreep Mon 10-Aug-20 18:31:16

I have a neighbour who insists that she's not on line
She is on FB all day everyday. She insists thats different nashes teethe.

cornergran Mon 10-Aug-20 18:37:59

A good friend, late 70's, has never used a computer. She has poor health and simply hasn't the head space to learn. We tried with an iPad, it left her in tears. Her struggle in lockdown was immense, for example a whole day with telephone calls to renew her car insurance, food deliveries were inaccessible to. her. I agree, society and personal reliance on the internet along with the assumptions made that everyone has access to it is a concern. `Personally I do find it useful, it can and does save time but it also causes immense frustration.

MissAdventure Mon 10-Aug-20 18:40:03

I'm very inept online, which has always been fine up until recently.

I've found it more and more difficult, lately, to do things which I suppose I should know about.

phoenix Mon 10-Aug-20 18:41:48

Spangler yes.

phoenix Mon 10-Aug-20 18:43:24

I suppose everyone realises that every time you pay by cheque your sort code and account are on there?

Just saying...............

MissAdventure Mon 10-Aug-20 18:43:52

I honestly think the rise of "online" life tallies in with the rise of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and so on.

Oldwoman70 Mon 10-Aug-20 18:48:04

I do use the internet but am not too sure about online doctor appointments. Not because I am against technology but because we have heard so many stories of online meetings etc. being hacked - just how secure and confidential would those appointments be?

There are also many older people who would put off making contact with a doctor if they thought they would have to use Zoom or a similar platform, not everyone has children/grandchildren to teach them.

GrandmaMoira Mon 10-Aug-20 18:53:45

I understand that quite a lot of older people do not want to go online at all, but it is increasingly difficult to do everyday tasks without it and you do save oney. For instance, some local councils no longer give out phone numbers and are only contactable online. I think that those who are capable of getting online should do so. Most people would have family or friends who would help.
I've been using the internet since the 90s at work (and computers since the 80s) and loved it. It's great to have information on everything at your fingertips and the ability to order anything online and not travel and queue in shops. I am also mostly cashless and it makes life easier.

kittylester Mon 10-Aug-20 18:53:54


Horrified by what ?

The fact that people like my bil and brother miss out on so much as so much is geared to people on line.

My brother makes me cross as he is just head in the sand but my bil wrote computer programmes for living!

But, until they die (and my brother is 3 years younger than me (!!!!) They will miss out!

quizqueen Mon 10-Aug-20 18:58:30

I use the internet constantly during the day when at home but have no interest whatsoever with interacting with it when I'm out and about in the real world, so only have a basic mobile phone.

MissAdventure Mon 10-Aug-20 19:01:14

I'm being bombarded constantly with needing to download an app so I can pay for school trips and dinners.
An app for work so I can do online training.

Sallywally1 Mon 10-Aug-20 19:10:04

I work in admin in the NHS and we simply could not do our jobs without it. For example I can very quickly find out results not on the system, refer cancer patients instantly, refer others and track that the referral has gone through, email hospitals for information rather Than wasting time trying to get through on the phone, the list is endless. I remember the days of missing paper notes for GPS, missing referral letters, missing hospital notes. One of my children had to have an operation cancelled because the surgeon did not have her notes to hand,

The list of benefits is endless and that is only the NHS. We are so lucky to have it. So no, I am not horrified!

Daisymae Mon 10-Aug-20 19:19:42

Yes, people who don't want or cannot engage online will miss out. Things have changed so much in recent years and the clock is not going back for any one.