Who would have imagined a world without money?

Statistically there are a very many elderly people.People who are retired, people who can be described as ‘grey power’, often with plenty of money to spend courtesy of pensions and investments and the ones who try to manage on their State Pensions alone.But in many ways we are often the forgotten people.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 1:30 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 11:04 am
A Star seller in High Street, Sheffield, September 1968

Whatever sort of pensioners we are, there is no doubt that we are living in a technologically changing world without concessions being made for our gradually diminishing memory or mental capabilities.

Almost without you realising it there are things disappearing from our lives at a staggering pace.

And I’m not talking about our husband’s hair!

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Who would ever have imagined a world without money? Well, stupid as it may sound, it’s getting to be the trend now that we are in a ‘contactless’ boom.

There was consternation at a local football club when it was announced that payment for matches was going to be cashless with only one till in operation for cash or cards.

Football clubs have supporters who have been going faithfully for decades, through thick and thin, through countless price increases both for tickets and goods.

Why penalise people who are suspicious of the new trend in payment?

I must admit that I am very wary of contactless transactions, feeling that it is so open to misuse.

But of course I am speaking from a pensioner perspective.

But it’s the way things are going.

Young people think nothing of paying for drinks, cinema tickets, bus and tram fares or parking by using their phones. They don’t seem to carry cash anymore.

I was also going to say newspapers, but then I realised that is also one of the things that has gone by the wayside.

It only seems five minutes that you could walk through town and hear the sound ‘Late Night Final’ from the newspaper sellers on every corner, selling either’ The Star’ or ‘Green ‘Un’.

What happened to those outside the Town Hall, Orchard Square, York Street? Almost without realising it, they are no more.

People are reading newspapers on their electronic devices. Just not the same.

Okay, in a world where everyone is obsessed with speed, it saves time, but nothing can replace relaxing with a daily paper or a lazy Sunday with all the time in the world for the umpteen supplements to devour.

And as for electronic books. How can you replace the feel and smell of a real book? But it seems that eventually we may have to.

Remote controls are becoming a thing of the past. We give our television a voice command to change channels.

My online banking asks for voice recognition and we may before long be embracing the concept of driverless cars.

The target date for the discontinuation of cheques was to be two years ago, but after many complaints it was reprieved, but for how long?

Our Post Offices are hanging on by a thread, usually one at the end of a counter in a mini market, and we don’t seem to visit travel agents any more, although it has to be easier to book a holiday than the system of trying to get everything right online.

It’s a wonder my next holiday isn’t to Outer Mongolia!

Have you noticed that you don’t get handwritten letters anymore?

When I was young, we were always writing. Letters to pen friends, love letters, thank you letters (what happened to those?)

I wrote a diary from a very young age.

Okay, it said very little apart from the fact that I’d gone to school and what I’d had for tea, but it must have taught me something.

People are even dumped by text these days.

And going on from the fact that everyone communicates by text and email, it’s not always easy to find a post box these days.

Do you remember the Speaking Clock?

When you consulted an encyclopaedia instead of Google or a dictionary instead of a spell check?

When you had CDs, VHS recorders and printed photos to stick into photo albums?

When you went on a car journey and you consulted a map instead of having a voice on your phone or dashboard telling you the way to go?

It seems that soon locks and keys will be obsolete. In the future we will open our house and car doors with facial recognition.

What would we do without chocolate?

I dread to think, being a bit of chocoholic, but it seems that the world cocoa production is under threat.

I remember reading ‘1984’ the dystopian novel by George Orwell.

It describes an imagined future when much of the world has fallen victim to perpetual war and propaganda and from which the phrase ‘Big Brother is Watching You’ was coined.

At the time I read it, the year 1984 was many years in the future but the book has become strangely prophetic today.

There is starting to be a total lack of privacy.

Our shopping habits are already catalogued from our shopping bills storing data about us.

And the most frightening thing of all is that we do seem to be faced with a future with perpetual warfare.

Perhaps being elderly isn’t so bad after all, and we’ve lived through the best of times!