Creeping paperlessness

To be honest I’m not even sure if paperlessness is a word – I suspect it is not. However, it describes what is happening. Bit by bit companies are snidely sliding towards the cost-saving exercise of arbitrarily deciding that bills will no longer be provided by post. Thus they save on printing, paper and postage costs, as well as saving on the cost of the employees to do these functions. This is bad enough for me – one who considers herself to be relatively internet savvy, but how about the challenged elderly. ¬†With the challenged young it is not so bad because they are happy for everything to be sent by text. All very well if you have a decent mobile signal at home, otherwise your mobile is bombarded with information when you are out and about.

I’m sure I have mused about the 1980s when we were sole an office system computer on the understanding that it would lead to a paperless office. The fact that it has taken two or three decades is I suppose tough luck.

It looks as if I am giving in with a bad grace. After all I could print out my telephone/mobile/electric/bank account………. but in just a short few months I have started not to bother. It is easier to go online and check the up to date position. Then I think of all those who are a good bit older than me, with an ailing and elderly laptop and a lack of patience born out of too many hours sitting listening to Genevieve whilst holding onto a telephone call centre. But there is little one lone voice can do about this creeping towards yet more dependence on electricity, computers, the web and the skills to use them all.

What do you think about it? I would be interested to know if anyone else is like me – in other words, slightly critical and mistrustful but not knowing what to do about it.

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6 Responses to Creeping paperlessness

  1. Tabor says:

    Perhaps there is a small business idea here? Helping the elderly to pay bills online? I like the ability to see my bill paying history so easily. But computers have become my necessary evil.

  2. Mina says:

    All very well having computerised information but this is not much use when you have a power cut or the phone lines down which happens quite often in my neck of the woods. I would like to have the ability to choose but who now has that choice. I like Tabor’s idea – certainly scope for such a business. An overheard conversation in a bank receently was an elderly person being told to check a particular type of account on line. But I don’t have or even know how to use a computer was the elderly response, to be told by the bank clerk – well then go to the library and someone will do it with/for you. Needless to say the bank clerk got a rolicking from my friend who overheard this.

  3. Dianne says:

    I do everything on the web and if I want a copy, I can print it or save it to an electronic file. David and I have shredded reams of old paperwork, and take the bags of stuff to our local burn center.

    The one thing I am sorry to see go is cursive writing and letters.
    Dianne

  4. Suem says:

    Fascinating – I’ve been wondering whether paperlessness, if it indeed such a word exists, is an abstract noun or not? It is certainly a noun – “the state of being paperless”, such as “hopelessness”, but is it abstract, in other words, is it something that can’t be seen, defined or measured? I suppose you can measure it ( ie paperlessness= when nil paper is used) but as it is a concept, I think it is an abstract noun. Hmmmmmmmmmm…

  5. Anne says:

    Jerry does all our banking and bill paying on line. For this reason it is necessary that I die before him, because if he dies first I will end up bankrupt and penniless. I always lose or forget passwords. Paper, paper, give me paper.

  6. LC says:

    Go to the library. Some elderly who are on their own are have difficulties with both mobility and transportation. I share Anne’s dilemna and enjoyed Suem’s observations about paperless.

    Now my big gripe about paperless is the computerized voting. No way to check votes. And computer experts I have talked to say that, regardless of safeguards and assurances to the contrary, tampering with software programs to influence or control outcomes in computerized voting is possible and should surprise no one.

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