As life increasingly moved online during the pandemic, many seniors faced a digital divide and struggled to use modern tools to stay connected with friends and family, especially during these difficult times.
To help bridge the digital gap and to encourage life-long learning, SMOU organised a series of in-person Zoom workshops in groups of five per session for close to 40 senior participants over four sessions on: 24 September; 25 September; 29 September; and 1 October. As most of SMOU social events have to go from physical live events to virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zoom workshop is especially useful for the senior members so they can get to participate in more virtual events organised by the union in the near future.
For many seniors, “the only social life they had is through catching up with friends over SMOU events,” said Mdm Chia Ek Lam, SMOU member of 31 years. With her newfound digital lifestyle thanks to the Zoom workshop, Mdm Chia is especially excited about putting what she had learned into practice by catching up with her friends over Zoom.
Mr Pang Jaik Leng Allen, SMOU member of 39 years, is thankful to the union for organising the Zoom workshop where he got to pick up a new skill. Regardless of the means to reach out to family and friends during these challenging times, be it online or offline, Mr Pang sees the need to keep the seniors engaged for their mental well-being.
Mdm Wong Sit Mui, SMOU member of 27 years and Mr Chan Woh Lai, SMOU member of 42 years told SeaVoices that the restrictions brought about by the pandemic had placed most seniors in a situation where they had to learn how to keep up with the digital age as most meetings and seminars are held on Zoom. Mr Chan said “this workshop is an eye-opening experience for me and my wife. The Zoom workshop certainly equipped us with confidence and relevant skills on how to navigate Zoom. We look forward to attending more of such events where we can upskill ourselves. We are thankful for SMOU for organising such a meaningful event for the senior members.”
In this time of great uncertainty, SMOU highly encourage its senior members to get well adjusted to the new normal and to stay socially connected online. Together, we can overcome this!