Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 6


THE Development of Computer Technology began to change our lives step by step. Almost without realizing, personal computers have become a part of family life, just like another domestic electrical appliance. The development of Telecommunications has significantly transformed our society and Information Freeways have dramatically changed human communication. The Internet phenomenon can be regarded as a technological, social and cultural revolution.


Petrol, the energy resource, was called 'black gold'; the information resource 'bit' is being called now 'virtual gold'. We are facing a new energy that is changing human communication by means of nets and computers, and it is influencing our daily life; that is the reason why we cannot ignore it. The Internet, with its resource potentiality and ease of use, is creating, configurating, a new motor for the world economy. We can state that the new Knowledge Economy concerns us all: children, youth, adults, mature people and old people. Yes, old people as well, both men and women. To be or not to be prepared, with an active and participative attitude, is our responsability, our duty and our right, which must be exercised in all its aspects.


I believe that we will all agree on the idea that INFORMATION is one of the most important capitals in our modern world. It has been often said that information is power, and it is true that it has become the heart of all human activities: social, cultural, financial and business activities. New technologies for the access and uses of information must serve the elderly as a means to achieve a better and greater integration, as fullright citizens, in our modern society. We cannot ignore micro-computing, personal computers, nor the Internet. If we do not want to stay in the past, and if we want to follow the rythm of the society where we live and become first level citizens, that is, to travel in first-class and not economy- class, we cannot, we must not, stray from new technologies. If we want to become full-right citizens, and exercise these rights, we have to feel comfortable using a computer, we need to know, it does not matter how little, about micro-computing and Windows operating system (or any new system that will become the standard in the future), word processors (it seems that nowadays the most popular is Word) and we have to learn to use the Internet as well, to surf it, that is, to search for any information that might be interesting for us, to exchange information in real time with friends or family through e-mail.


We can also participate in discussion forums or 'chats'. We seem to have accepted the word 'chat' as a slang word, meaning to carry a conversation in real time with our keyboard and screen. The bravest can use video-conference systems in order to view on screen the person with whom they might be talking.


Finally, an idea that we all must ponder about: almost everything is computerized today; the elderly cannot and must not ignore new technologies if we do not want to become the 'illiterates' of 21st century.


New technologies must allow the elderly to play a role in modern society, and participate and make a full use of all services and products of the Information Society where we are living. It only depends on us.



José Roberto López Martínez

Treasurer of the Group of European Savings Banks,

Banks and Related Institutions Retired Staff