Glynis Sullivan contemplates new technology  as something we now have to live with, whether we like it or not.

Smartphones and Computers are not just our way of keeping in touch with friends and family but now a lifeline for ordering food in a restaurant, ordering your Covid test kit, banking online, booking the cinema or theatre – all this plus much more is done online.

New technology is on the increase and, sadly, many older people feel they are being left behind. I will try hard and learn as much as my mature brain will allow, but many people of senior years just say it is too difficult. The lockdown saw many people Zooming and Face-timing and this has helped and pushed the older generation to use new technology to help them speak to family, grandchildren, and friends. A lifeline for many people to stop loneliness and isolation through this troubled time.

My recent visit to the dentist was another new technology experience. The date was arranged but prior to the appointment, I was sent to my smartphone a Portal, yes a Portal. Well at my age I have heard of ports, portholes, potholes, but my recollection of Portals is from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Portal when Harry went through the Portal to travel through time! Well, all I was doing was going to the dentist!
The Portal is a questionnaire that is sent to your smartphone to save time when you arrive at the dentist – well, that sounds so simple. But being the eternal pessimist I rang the mobile number on the instructions. This was a discontinued line. So being a suspicious person I rang the dentist and asked about this telephone number. They couldn’t understand why this number wasn’t working alongside their Portal. I reluctantly filled in my details then at my appointment, my dentist asked me how I found the Portal – well I said I did have to check out the number to see if it wasn’t a scam. Oh, the dentist said, that has never happened before! People just fill it in.

Today many things are on apps but we do still need to be suspicious of new technology. Learning more about it can enhance our lives but giving out too much information about yourself needs to be actioned carefully. We just need time and patience, I personally like the idea of a Porthole on a lovely cruise ship not a Portal to my dentist on a Winters Day!