Tuesday 13 December 2016

Scrolling scrolling scrolling

I am struggling with ageing at the moment. Mostly physically of course, as bits of me snap, break, or go twang. But there is also the mental side of things. Forgetting why I walked upstairs has been happening for years now. Forgetting what I did last week at work. Being unable to remember nice long words and phrases of the type that I typically like to avail myself of (use). But most of all what I forget is passwords.

Everything requires a password or a PIN. To even speak to my bank on the telephone I need a number that I can never remember, and it's a different number to the one I use to get money. You want to order something online? Fine, create an account and choose a password. What about if you want to give a charity some money? Password please. Book a flight? Obscure account number and....password. Sign a petition? Yep password. So annoying. For instance I now have an account at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council that I will never ever use again, and for which there was a lengthy registration process (I was registering an objection about the Spurn Visitor Centre that nobody wants). I'll probably start to get emails from them now. At least on that one I’m unlikely ever to need to log on again, but for every account that is a one-off there are ten that I might need to use again. This typically means that any time I want to do anything that I have to try out all my regular passwords, and if I’m unlucky or just being thick, eventually I have to click on the reset password button and go through it all over again. These days I sometimes choose that option at the outset, as (so far) I can still remember my birthday, my first something or other, and where I live. One day I suppose I won’t remember those either. Life will be cheaper at least. 

Online is supposed to be efficient, quicker. That’s not my experience at all. Partially it's people designing websites who need a big kick up the backside. But mostly it's my age. Too high basically. 

And ironically enough, the internet is at hand to constantly remind of it. Mainly during the process of setting up online accounts, but also sometimes during the password reset process. I’m talking of course about the horrible drop down boxes you get when you need to select the year of your birth. What used to be a quick little retraction of the finger on the mouse wheel to select the appropriate year, or a drag down taking a few centimetres of desk..... sometimes I have to lift my mouse up and start again on a larger piece of real estate. And it may me just me, but it seems to get worse every year for some reason. I am now regularly having to scroll and scroll and scroll before I get to it. I can only imagine what it must be like for my parents, or indeed anyone significantly older than me.

What I don’t understand is why they don’t start it at a sensible year? How many babies and toddlers routinely use the internet? And given there’s no difference between scrolling/dragging up and down, surely the clever thing to do would be to have the start year be, say, 30 years ago. Parents registering a child for something or other would have to go up. OAPs resetting passwords would need to go down. Me, I’d be pre-selected, give or take a decade…..

I have to go down a lot further than this!!


  1. You think you've got a long way to scroll Jono... I have to travel all the way down to 1958. That's in black and white!

  2. Exactly. As someone born at the birth of the 60s, the problems you are encountering are already shrouded in the mists of time/cataracts. Wait until not only can you not remember your password, but you can't see the dates in the drop-down menu. Still, as they say: getting old is awful, but it's better than the alternative. That's probably true up to a point.