PC monitor

A Reader’s View

Tracey Columns

For a number of reasons, I believe that honesty is the best policy, even if it is difficult at times. So, with this in mind, I have a confession.

For my birthday (more on turning 62 at a later date) I decided to give myself the day off. Yep, took the entire day and evening to do pretty much anything I wanted. I went out to breakfast with my one and only, lounged about on the couch and read all afternoon, and was able to speak to each and every one of my kids. It was a perfect day!

Of course, taking the day off meant that I didn’t write a column. Given what an understanding audience you all seem to be, I figured I wouldn’t get too much grief if I skipped out on my responsibility. (I hope I’m right about this?)

I know I promised you more on the fun world of Pinterest and yes, I’ll will deliver on that as well. But the following email arrived and I thought it was the perfect time to let one of you wise people do some talking regarding the use of computers in our later years. I especially enjoy her enthusiastic attitude!

Dear Tracey,

I could hardly wait to open my newspaper on Tuesday to finally learn the “magic” of Pinterest! Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that so many people were resistant to it that you had to devote your column to that issue.

We seniors have a reputation for exactly the sort of dismissal of new ideas without investigation that you experienced.

But, back to me – I am new to all of this social media. I, too, was resistant and for reasons you cited. I hear all the scary news about how your computer can get ‘ya, and since I don’t understand any of it I just shied away. But the lure of all the books I can get on Kindle brought me in….and then Facebook! OMG! I can make that thing work just for me!…and one slow piece at a time I am discovering the wonders of the Internet. I have seen some things on my Facebook stream that came from Pinterest, and they were really great, like simple sewing projects (ooh, you should see the cute bag I made from a hot pink girls t-shirt), and lots of other imaginative craft projects. I really want to know how to get on Pinterest and make it useful to me. I hope you do give us a beginner’s lesson in an upcoming article.

I think you have hit a nerve. How about you doing a survey of the sites that seniors find useful?…sites that seniors stay away from?…and help us all navigate this new technology.

I’ll start you off with some of my favorite web sites:

www.mayoclinic.com – Information on ANY health question, from the Mayo Clinic

www.tripadvisor.com – Check out hotels, restaurants, airlines – make reservations, etc.

www.allexperts.com – Ask ANY question, and get information from regular folk who have specific knowledge in the area you are questioning, from pet care to installing a printer.

And what I stay away from: I just won’t do my banking on line. I buy online only from brand name companies (like LL Bean, Penny’s, etc.), or I buy through Amazon. I do not open email from anyone I don’t recognize. I delete it immediately. And I empty my spam box without opening any of those emails, either.

Love your column,
Name withheld

What a wonderful summary of how a computer can work for you! Still intimidated? There are classes happening at adult education, the community college, and OLLI. Take a big deep breath and try it!

And, I promise, I’ll be back on track next week!

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