Words of Wisdom – John and Jean

Thanks to social media, John Radford, 78, and his wife Jean, 75, of Austin Heath, didn’t miss out when one of their great-grandchildren took their first steps. But while the couple regularly use technology to stay connected to their family and friends, they don’t want the younger generations to become too reliant on their smartphones and other gadgets.


“We’ve not been able to see our family as much as we’d like because of Covid-19, but Facebook and FaceTime have really helped because you can see each other’s faces. We saw our great-granddaughter walk for the first time because the video was put on Facebook, which was great.

We’ve both been using Inspired’s Virtual Village Centre on Facebook. TV fitness instructor Mr Motivator was at Austin Heath recently for an exercise class, which I did. The class was filmed and put on the Virtual Village Centre.

But we’re not as au fait with technology as the younger generations. If we don’t know something, we generally ring our 22-year-old granddaughter, who normally comes up with the answer.

I think young people rely too much on technology. They’re not going to learn to do things normally. But I guess their normal is different to our normal.

If we meet up with our family, no phones are allowed at mealtimes because that would be unsociable. It’s normal for youngsters to have their phones at the table but I think it’s rude.”


“We use social media to see what other people are doing and to keep in contact, especially with friends we don’t see. We look at Facebook most days.

We had a family group on WhatsApp during the coronavirus lockdown. We used to have regular quizzes or a challenge of the day.

And I used to do a drop-in technology session for the residents, but there are some things I know and some things I don’t.

We use social media when we want to use it. We don’t find ourselves glued to it. I also believe that when you get together with your family and friends, you don’t want to be on your phone. Talking to someone is an art.”

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