Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Normal Service Will Not Be Resumed ...

I couldn’t sleep last night.

And not because I was worrying about the animals in the rain or the homeless people on the streets - I regularly toss and turn with such issues on my mind!

It may sound daft to you (and indeed amuses my friends) but things like this concern me and I feel a bit of a rant brewing.  It will be short and sweet but I feel the need to offload.

Next year (April 4th, I believe) TV broadcasting will be going exclusively digital.  “What’s so wrong with that?”, I hear you ask.  Technology, moving forward, crisp pictures with endless channels.

Well, I’m worried.

What about all those old people, just about surviving on a pension, still watching a huge-backed monster of a TV that they’ve had for some thirty odd years because it just never dies?  What if they have no means to upgrade?

This could be their only source of company during the day and the long nights.  They might well be watching the ads, which inform us of next year’s change, and not even understand the implications.  What if they have no one to ask?  Of course, the ads helpfully suggest they can go online for more information … get the picture?  Well, they won’t, literally.

We can’t assume everyone has 42-inch flat plasma screens, Sky, cable and the likes.  Many elderly people can’t get their heads around the new technology and prefer to stick to just the channels they know.  My mother has a constant battle navigating her Freeview recorder box and now leaves it to my son to programme.  And this is a pensioner with a close network of family who talk her (patiently) through things - what if she had no one?

It’s not enough to say that most people will be equipped and ready for the changeover.  I’m worried about the ones who won’t - either due to a lack of resources or awareness - as I don’t believe they’re a small minority.

I can’t bear to think of poor old Alf or Betty in their bedsit settling down with their beans on toast, ready to watch Corrie, only to have their lifeline suddenly blink out.

But there’s nothing I can do to help them because I don’t know where they are, these poor old people who’ll get left behind.

Now I’ve really made myself miserable and getting it off my chest has done no good whatsoever.

When insomnia knocks next time, I’m going back to worrying about creatures in the rain.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available at Amazon for Kindle.  Now also in paperback at Lulu.

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