Baby Boomers & Technology: Save Money & Save Time
by Ray Gregoire
I am always amazed at how few of my college friends and neighbors use the internet. If they only knew how much money and time they could save. If they only knew how easy the internet is for keeping in touch with friends and family.
Afraid of Technology?
The reasons that older Baby Boomers and seniors avoid the internet are many but come down to the fact that they grew up before the computer age or they are afraid of the technology. This is strange as they grew up before television yet have adapted well to that.
Those of us that worked for large corporations had to learn computer skills or be replaced. I remember in 1980, I was one of the few employees at Johnson & Johnson who had access to the mainframe in order to garner data, which basically made my career.
Boomers Can Save Time and Money
Buying merchandise on the internet saves time and money. Here are the ways you can use the internet to make your life better:
- No fancy high-cost stores in malls: This saves overhead, enabling lower prices.
- No gas, driving, or parking costs: All shopping is done from the comfort of your home.
- No taxes: In some cases, depending on your locale, there's no sales tax. This saves even more money.
- More choices: You literally can shop any store on earth. No more running from one store to another. And, you can shop stores not found in your city such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and the great clothing stores of Paris and London.
- Free shipping: Shipping for both purchases and returns are often free. Look around to see if you can find a free-shipping store with the item you want.
- Get the right size: Sizing seems to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so simply buy your size and one smaller and one larger. Try all three and return all or the two that are not a good fit. This is what my wife does. (And, the other day I was at our local post office and a lady was returning 40 boxes of shoes to Zappos. I asked her and she said she ordered 45 pairs to try and was keeping five of them.)
- Compare prices: Some sites, like Amazon, let you compare prices for both new and used products, again saving time comparing prices.
- Auctions: You can even bid for a product online. Try eBay or Priceline.
- No impulse purchases: Save money, time and gas on groceries by ordering online. Really cuts down on impulse buys.
- Product Reviews: Many sites, such as Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon have reviews. Find out what people like or don't like about almost any product or service.
Seniors Can Keep in Touch with Everyone
There are simple ways to keep in touch with old classmates or people you worked with when you were younger.
- Email: All you need to do is type.
- Facebook: Upload photos and stay in touch with everyone.
- Instant messages: Just like passing notes in class.
- Text to cell phone: The easiest way to get ahold of kids or grandchildren.
- Twitter: Tell the world what you’re up to.
- Appointments: Physicians, hairdresser, and others sometimes have online sites where you can make an appointment without waiting on the phone for half an hour.
- Skype: Talk face to face with your family through the computer.
There’s really no reason you shouldn’t be using the internet all the time. Don’t be afraid to use the computer for something new that you haven’t tried before. It’s almost impossible to break a computer. If you need help getting started, just ask your kids or one of your 40-year-old neighbors.
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