Thursday, 14 May 2020

The New Normal

Firstly thank you all for your caring comments on my last post. I'm still struggling to walk but so far today I haven't felt like I need to go straight back to bed despite it being so cold and windy outside. So perhaps my metabolism is getting back to normal. My shiner is a lovely shade of yellow and getting smaller, and my forehead is less painful. Hooray! 

We all seem to be adapting to our new 'stay at home as much as possible' way of life.  I think this will be the new normal certainly for me for a very long time. I won't be fighting to get to parks or beaches anytime soon. Or going on my foreign holiday in September. 

  • Speaking regularly to a friend throughout lockdown I  realised that her lack of computer skills has left her very disadvantaged. The realisation happened when she told me how angry she felt when her energy supplier reduced her direct debit. However, when she attempted to call them to explain she wanted it left the same to cover the colder period of the year, they were only taking emergency calls. Of course they gave the usual blurb 'go online' and we'll sort your problem there. 

Over the last month I have had cause to ring my bank, the council, my solicitor and energy provider. Non of them excepting anything other than emergency calls! I was able to email, message and have an online chat to sort my problem.

She can't do that. She doesn't have a mobile phone capable of receiving the internet. She doesn't have data on her mobile account or understand what broadband is. In her words 'she has never needed it '. But Lockdown has forced her think again. She will be ordering a new mobile phone once we can see people again.  Her daughter and myself will be teaching her how to use it, when it's safe to do so.  She is already terrified but I've assured her in the nicest way that playing with it will provide a huge learning curve,  plus almost all devices are Idiot Proof!

Obviously we all use this sort of media to blog and I'll be the first to get frustrated when they change stuff. I'm not finding the new version blogger easy. I'll even hold my hands up to  accidentally deleting some comments and I apologise for that. But imagine having to learn this because  you have to. How many other people have been effected like this, I bet we all know someone. 

Back soon. T x 


  1. Very true. I don’t have or use a smart phone, but do have an older version used just for calls. DB has a smart phone and once he got used to it, now uses it for all kinds of things.

    1. I'm very old fashioned. I do my banking on my laptop and some blogging etc. But my smartphone is used for everything else. It's only a cheap Samsung which was less then £140.

  2. I also have a very old phone and normally its not an issue. I have a laptop at home but it needs some upgrading and cleaning up - so I cannot Zoom - I can call in to meetings but can't use he computer (although Webex works for some reason). I can't afford a new laptop but might take a look at an iPad or Smart phone as an alternative.

    1. Prices have dropped dramatically and there is some excellent kit out there. I use my phone for all sorts of things.

  3. My Mum does really well with her basic computer usage, well she has until recently, now unfortunately it's her eyes letting her down. They are slowly fading and any extra stress on them gives her double vision. So at the moment she tries to be online for just 30 minutes a day to keep in touch with what's going on in the world.

    But she is brilliant on her basic landline and will phone and talk to anyone she can. Her mobile phone she sees as a little alien and it's like the old Peter Kaye sketch when she phones.

    'Hello Sue, it's your Mum, I'm on my mobile phone, CAN YOU HEAR ME?'

    I love her to bits.

    1. Its sounds like you love her very much. My mother died 27 years ago having never seen a mobile phone, laptop or computer. Now technology changes by the day.

  4. I haven't come across the new version of blogger yet - not looking forward to it either from what I hear. When my sister-in-law died 5 years ago we had a helluva time with my brother - no mobile phone, useless on the computer, no credit card even. I had to chuckle the first time he sent me an email - but he could only do that because I'd sent him one he could reply to. Oh was he hard work - until he met a new lady friend and she soon got him all shaped up!!! Sadly, like it or not, we really can't do without basic technology today can we.

    1. I agree it can be incredibly helpful. I'm currently hooked on the Facebook page Frenchic Fan Forum. It's a paint forum. I know it sounds pathetic but its ingenious. I do feel too many companies have hidden behind the excuse of the endemic to give poor and non existent customer service to a lot of people.

  5. I'm not a lover of technology but it's hard to imagine trying to live a life without it these days especially when something like this happens. Tom's teacher rang as usual this week and for forward planning she had to ask whether we had internet, a laptop or a tablet. To be honest it took me by surprise that some of the younger households don't have these things. So I looked it up and about one third of 'poor' children have no internet access at all. Glad your friend is getting a phone. I'm sure with you and her daughter teaching her she'll pick it up in no time. xx

    1. I live a 15 minute drive away from 2 of the poorest towns in the UK. The local Facebook page is continuously asking for donations, clothing, toys, food and white goods. I think she will love it once she takes the plunge she is a very practical person.

  6. I was resistant to the idea of a smartphone, but have had one for quite a few years now, and can't imagine not having one. I rarely use my laptop now, as I use my phone for most things.

    1. I know she is very sceptical at the moment but I really do believe she will think differently once she gets to grips with it.

  7. I felt like that about a smart phone but had to get one last summer and, while I'm not glued to it, I'm very glad I have it and wouldn't be without it.
    I think that, once she gets the basics, she will really enjoy having it.

    1. I agree with you. She isn't computer literate and has never used one. If she can master a smart phone she has access to most things.

  8. im still using my old work Nokia , we cant justify the cost of 2 smart phones and himself doesnt let his smart phone out of his sight, mobile reception is dire here regardless of supplier , so its not a win situation

    1. Do you use a computer to blog? My friend has no computer and doesn't understand how to operate one. I'm convinced if she had one,(I have a Samsung A10 £139 argos purchase) and its brilliant. I use my bt account for mobile £8, (unlimited texts, unlimited phone calls and 8gb of data). She is paying £12 and no data which I think is a con.

  9. This hits close to home. My MIL (who is not an elderly person) refuses to even pay with something using a card let alone order something online or even pay for something with a debit card in a shop. She can send an email thank goodness, but at this point during lockdown as she chooses to not leave the house she is totally reliant on other people. She's now running out of cash but won't use a card to pay for something and so will probably struggle.

    She won't buy online because it's not safe, but is happy to let other people order on her behalf. It infuriates me, but as she's not my mum I seethe in near silence!

    She also pays more than double we do each month for her phone as she's paying something like 15p per text and pays for all her calls, just because she refuses to get a newer phone. But as I say, not my mum, not my place to tell her she's cutting her nose off to spite her face.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. My phone is sim only bought for cash Argos £139. My cost is £8 unlimited texts and calls, 8gb of data. She pay £12 for texts and calls. Its ridiculous. I think she will hit the ground running once she realises what is at her fingertips.

  10. I'm a bit of a technophobe but I'm glad I'm able to use my laptop and phone as we'd definitely be lost at the moment without. My dad's 87 years old, has never used a computer and has one of the very old phones, and he can't even pay his milkman as he's not accepting cash, I'm having to do that for him. It makes me wonder how some people are coping at the moment.

    1. This pandemic has certainly left some people high and dry. It certainly looks like cash will be a thing of the past soon.

  11. So much is now being done online and I worry about those that don't have access or understand what is necessary. Good for you helping her get through this.

    God bless.

    1. So much is on line now and the pandemic has highlighted the need to have access to the internet.

  12. I am glad my mom understands technology, even her dad who is 90 - understands it! I have been trying to help a friend who relied on the library for all his Internet needs. Unfortunately, he is now struggling - he as a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to learn to use the new technology - but i told him he has to really figure it out now, because who knows when the library will re open.

    1. Exactly, I think lots of changes that have happened are her to stay for the foreseeable. I too have a cheap android £139 sim free mobile. I loved cash because it's easier to control, that's something that's disappearing fast too.

    2. Right now, he is using an old laptop and tablet to access the library wifi - he sits/stands outside it to download stuff. i suspect he will have to get a phone plan with unlimited internet, and make it his home wifi - pretty easy for most of us, but not him. yes, a lot of changes will become the new norm you are correct.

    3. He's savvy using the library wifi but it's a tad inconvenient. Theres some good deals out there.

  13. I can't imagine how difficult it must for people who don't have the use of technology just now. It's proving invaluable for enabling me to keep in touch and especially for home schooling.
    Given the difference it can make I imagine there must be many people regretful of their reluctance to embrace it. X

    1. Do you think its fear of feeling stupid? I do, that's why I said so many gadgets are made idiot proof these days. And it was meant in the nicest possible way.

  14. We’re fortunate that my mum, who is 82, is quite good with tech. Her mobile is a very basic one, but she has an iPad. So she emails her friends abroad, she’s on Facebook and in readiness for hubby’s 50th, my brother sorted her out with Zoom. She always copying photos that we put on Facebook and puts them on to emails to show her friends who aren’t on Facebook.
    It must be quite isolating for those who can’t or won’t use the technology that’s around now, possibly from fear of the unknown.

    1. Absolutely, technology has been the saving grace for lots of us during this pandemic. The loneliness has really go to her and I think it would have helped her tremendously.

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