Monday, November 27, 2006

Why Seniors Should Blog

Yesterday, myself and Ivan, another Friend of Yesterday.sg, gave a talk about blogging to a group of more than 100 senior citizens at the Queenstown Community Library. We want to thank the participants for their warm response and we do apologise for any shortcomings in our presentations.

As Ivan and two other 'Friends of Yesterday.sg', Victor and Walter have already blogged about this event (
here, here and here) I will not go into the details again. What I would like to do instead, is to report on what I covered in my presentation.

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The aim of our talk was basically to encourage the seniors to take up blogging as a means of sharing their stories of Singapore's past. My part was to share my own experience, as one of the oldest bloggers in Singapore in starting Good Morning Yesterday, whilst Ivan gave a demonstration on the basics of blogging.

Essentially I touched on four points.

1) Why I started Good Morning Yesterday
2) The Stuff I blog about
3) The challenges I faced in blogging
4) The satisfaction I derived from blogging.

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These 2 senior gentlemen arrived half an hour before the commencement time and sat in the front row.


I also spoke about why seniors should blog.

1) We have more stories to tell.

In his 2006 National Rally Speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong exhorted senior members of our society to share their stories with the young. "Keep alive the Singapore story", he said, "Celebrate our heroes and remember the good times and hard times we’ve been through together ... Our young generation need to know the heart of the Singapore story and understand how we got here ... Parents and grandparents play an important role. You provide the links to our past. Pass down the stories, emotions, and values to your children and grandchildren."

I say, what better way to do this than through blogging. As Kenneth Pinto, another Friend of Yesterday.sg, put it so succintly in his blog, "The personal is powerful. The personal is as valid a history as any textbook, perhaps even more so."


2) We, at least some of us, have more time.

3) We can write better. Most of us have decades of experience in expressing ourselves in English. Many have gone through the old fashioned but tested rigours of learning English, and are more disciplined in its proper usage.

4) Blogging is good for our brains. Health experts have found that exercise is the best way to keep our brains healthy and beat back the effects of ageing. Blogging involves the exercise of the brain in 3 ways. Firstly, writing is a strenuous mental exercise. So is digging up all those memories of long ago events. And it involves learning many new things with the computer and internet.

5) Bloggin is "cool". It helps us to connect with the younger generation. It helps to bridge the so called 'digital divide'.

6) Everyone's doing it. So why not we seniors.

7) It's Fun. After more than a year of doing it, I can testify to that.

8) It can even be profitable. It is not unkown for bloggers to make some money through advertisement and sponsorships on their blogs ... well maybe not much in a small country like Singapore, but who can tell.

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I concluded my section by asking the participant to do at least one of the following 3 things. If possible, start your own blog and post your stories there. If that is too much of a hassle, then send your articles to Yesterday.sg or Good Morning Yesterday and we will gladly publish it for you on our blogs, as what I have been doing for some of my friends. At the very minimum, visit our blogs and share your short stories and annecdotes in the comments section.

3 comments:

zen said...

My mother used to tell us how many ten years more (another ten years..another)can a person goes through in his or her life. All people can in a big or small way leave behind a legacy in what ever way for the next generation, blogging is one. So do not wait.

kairin said...

sadly... this requires a lot of effort (ie someone has to make the effort to either educate, or collect the info)

i would love to hear stories from my grand parent's generation.

mostly because i love nostalgia...

but to have more of them to blog is impossible since they don't have the means to it i guess... (and this whole blogging thing doesn't mean much to the older malay community if you ask my opinion)

Lam Chun See said...

Yes I suppose effort is required. Actually the NHB encourages students to interview their parents/grandparents for stories and post it to Yesterday.sg.