The Pok family are an IT-savvy lot. They’re experts when it comes to using Facebook, Whatsapp, chatting via Facetime, surfing the Internet and trading online. In fact, they admit that technology is so much a part of their lives now that they can’t live without it.
William Pok, 61, retiree He surfs the Web and logs on to Facebook almost every day. He constantly sends Whatsapp messages to his family and friends, and chats with them on Facetime, especially with his younger brother, Vincent, as they share the same interests. “I got hooked on using the Internet when I started trading in the stock market online. I eventually began using smartphone apps as they’re really convenient.”
William also loves searching for websites that give live golf updates, as some tournaments are not aired live in Singapore. He also occasionally posts pictures of himself and writes comments on Facebook to stay in touch with his friends. “When I first started using the Internet, I was wary of what I clicked on. I didn’t dare to explore too much as I was worried that the computer would explode if I made a wrong move,” he said. “But now, I’m excited about learning new things.”
Vincent Pok, 58, semi-retired He pays his bills online and regularly uses his iPhone’s Facetime function to chat with his brother William, as well as his sister who lives in Latvia. “This is very important to me. Now that I can chat with her and see her any time I want, I don’t miss her as much anymore.” The function came in handy too when his daughter was studying in Australia.
Vincent also uses Facebook to stay connected with his relatives, who are mostly overseas, and depends on his smartphone for news updates.
His advice to seniors? Don’t throw in the towel so easily. “You need to learn by trial and error. When I first started, I accidentally deleted files all the time. But I kept on trying and learnt from there. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. I love learning about technology – it keeps my mind active.”
Mary Ho, 55, student relations ofcer She jumped on the smartphone bandwagon when her husband, Vincent, introduced her to it. She now uses her phone to watch dramas and movies. Mary also surfs the Net for product reviews.
“I go to Ebay and base my purchasing decisions on the reviews. But I do little online shopping – I ask my daughter to buy things for me.”
She’s a regular texter on Whatsapp with her friends and colleagues, and loves posting pictures of food on her Facebook page. “If the food is nice, I’ll snap a photo and share it with my friends.”
She too believes that seniors shouldn’t be afraid of technology. “Sign up for a course and learn from scratch. Develop your basic computer skills – learn its functions and how to operate it. Once you’ve gained confidence, you won’t fear technology anymore.”