Royce Shook

3 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Withdrawal

I will end my posts on smoking when I return next week. I spend a great deal of time on the Internet, reading, researching, communicating with friends and family, updating material for the workshops we do through our Institute on senior health and wellness. I am on a number of social media sites. I belong to Bebee, I have a Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook account as well as a presence on Google. I use Google maps not only to get around but when I visit a place I spend extra time and rate my experience to help others.  I enjoy my time on the Net although many of my generation like the Internet, they do not like social networking sites. 

As a group, 81% of my age group (65-74) uses the Internet, although the use of the Intenet by those over 75  drops to 75%. Many of my friends use the Internet on a daily basis. Health research is one of the most commonly searched topics. However, not all sources on the Internet are reliable. I tell my friends to be careful as to what they read – especially health information. The Internet is a great resource and a tool to help you to become more knowledgeable and increase awareness. However, always consult a healthcare professional for any health advice, including prior to engaging in physical activity.

According to the Pew Institute, when it comes to social networking sites I am an outlier, only 45% of my age group use social media of any kind. For seniors over 75 only 29% use any type of social media site. One of the biggest reasons is my friends tell me they do not want their privacy to be compromised. I tell them that if they are using Google or any search engine, and any browser their privacy is already compromised. They don't believe me and continue to resist the idea of joining any networking site. I could spend many posts giving reasons why my age group should join and use social media platforms, but I would be preaching to the choir as the old saying goes, so I won't. 

 My friends and I are off for a week of golf and fun, without any access to any social networking sites or the Internet. Since I like my friends and enjoy quality time with them, for the next week, I will be off-line. This is by design, as I will spend the time enjoying their company and like all men, we will tackle the problems of the world. We will reminisce about what we did on earlier trips and raise a glass to those who are no longer with us. We will laugh and tell stories to bring our friends back into our mind's eye albeit for a short period of time.

We call ourselves the "Lords of Golf" based on an inside joke, which I won't bore you with, but the tour has been going on in BC and the NorthWest every year since 1982. Members of the group change every year, although the organizer and founder, my best friend, has been on every trip. There are a few others who have been on this trip for over 25 years, but I am a newcomer as I have only been on the tour since 2002. Our numbers range from 24 to 4 depending on who can make it that particular year. Every year we go at the same time, but we pick a different location in BC or Washington State. This year there are 9 of us and we are visiting the city of Kelowna for a week. We do not take the golf on tour very seriously but we have a trophy and the winner gets to keep it for a year. I won a few years back and perhaps in the next 16 years, I will have a shot at winning again. We have few rules, but one is that we cannot access the Internet, email, or social networking for the week so I will be experiencing some form of withdrawal, although my friends will not.


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