Forum: Be kinder, more patient, especially with older folk

The proliferation of technology over the years has brought people across the globe together. In 2016, Facebook found that each person in the world is much closer than the traditional six degrees of separation.

While technology is arguably more boon than bane, it affects people from different generations differently.

For the young, technology enables them to be more efficient and effective. A task such as grocery shopping can now be done under 30 minutes with a few clicks of a mouse.

On the other hand, for many in the older population, technology has slowed them down. For them, grocery shopping on the Internet would take double the time taken to shop physically.

This is similarly reflected in the household. Parents who lag behind in tech knowledge have to constantly rely on their children to help them. This often brings out a lack of patience among those who are tech-savvy, which can result in conflict. This drives a wedge between parent and child, alienating those from the older generation.

During this time of social distancing and nationwide lockdowns, families are spending more time together and the use of technology has never been more crucial.

The question we should ask ourselves is not just how to help the older generation better integrate into society, but also what we can do to be a more inclusive society.

During this time, I implore everyone to be kinder and more patient with one another.

It may be challenging for the young, but it is even more challenging for the older generation.

If you can send a text to your friends to check in on them or to cheer them on, you can definitely do the same for members of your own household.

Sandy Oh Xiu Wen