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Online Grandparents Guide

Online Grandparents Guide

Internet Drawbacks – From Finance to “Facetime”

The Internet has made everything easier. It makes it easier to connect with people. It makes it easier to shop. You can get things delivered right to your door. But – wait…

Didn’t I used to go out to the pub, to actually see my friends? And wasn’t walking up and down the high street, getting the weekly shopping, good exercise? Now I have to find an app to tell me how to make the most of my fitness while I’m sitting in this chair, staring at this screen. And I’m sure I’m spending more money than I used to too.

Internet phishing scams take a toll on everyone’s finances at some point it seems. A friend of mine had several large transactions run through her PayPal account after she’d been unexpectedly booted out of the session and had to log back in again. And for weeks I was receiving emails purporting to be from Amazon, which were trying to get me to log back in – fortunately I noticed that the emails were talking about an order I had never made, and reported the scam straightaway.

To find out more about phishing, and how to avoid it,  take a look at Ask Granny’s online grandparent guide and click onto the APWG site.

Some of the more tech-savvy friends of mine talk incessantly about “facetime”. It’s a word they’ve picked up during their voyages into outer Apple-land, where people who own exclusively Mac products can engage in their own version of Skype. And I have to wonder: was it better when we talked face to face? I mean yes, it’s great for some things, like staying in touch with my granddaughter on the other side of the world – but I’d prefer to see my other friends in the flesh rather than on a screen.

Mind you the Internet can help as well as hinder. While it has become easier to get the supermarket to deliver to me, which makes me both fatter and poorer, it’s also easier to get knowledgeable advice on how and where to save money. The famous Money Saving Expert is a case in point. Grown in just a couple of years from a bedroom business to a multimillion pound enterprise, Martin Lewis’ advice site has become the go-to location for all matters money – from reclaiming mis-sold PPI at no cost to understanding where you can put your money where it’ll still make a little bit of interest.

Clearly the Internet is a useful tool. And that’s the problem. Us humans seem to have overuse hardwired into our systems. Whenever a new tool, a new piece of technology comes out, we try to find ways to use it for everything. Which of course leads to disaster when you go down the wrong path. That’s why the dot com bubble burst – because most of the stuff people were using the web for simply wasn’t ever going to make any money.

So here’s what I think. This online grandparent guide  suggests you use the Internet for things you can’t do in the “real world”. Like getting advice and information quickly, or talking to someone you care for who’s in another country. But leave the other stuff – like shopping and having good times with your friends – to reality.

For more advice on matters technological you can Ask Granny…