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Fun Time: DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW—WHATEVER YOUR AGE

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
April 2020
Fun Time: DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW—WHATEVER YOUR AGE

I recently did something I had never done before: I deposited a check in my bank account without stepping out of my home. I did it partly out of laziness—I didn’t want to drive to the bank—and partly out of a newfound desire to try new things.

Young people have no trouble trying new things. My teen-aged kids, for example, are eager to try new devices, new software or new social media platforms. They’re eager to learn new games or sports. They’re eager to adopt new styles of clothing, new types of haircuts, and new ways of frowning at their parents.

I used to be like that, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more set in my ways. If something works for me, I keep doing it, even if there’s another way that might be better.

My wardrobe has hardly changed in the last 10 years. I tend to wear the same types of clothes, picking them up from the same clearance racks in the same discount stores.

My exercise routine consists of walking my dog and jogging. I never go to a gym to try a new piece of equipment that might stimulate a muscle I never knew I had.

I visit the same websites and watch the same TV channels. I drink regular tea and coffee, and never splurge on any of those costly concoctions at coffee shops.

My kids have a word for people like me: BORING.

Actually, they have an even shorter word for people like me: OLD.

Well, I can’t do too much about the second word, but I’m going to try not to be too boring anymore and it starts with how I do my banking. For many years, I did my banking in just two ways: by walking into a bank or by logging into the bank’s website. I’ve enjoyed the ability to pay bills online, but I never thought of using my mobile phone to do any type of banking.

But when a bank teller told me that it was safer to use the bank’s app than an internet browser, I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the app and paid a few bills with it. And like other new things I’ve tried, my first thought was: “Why did I wait so long to try this?” It was so much easier than using the bank’s website.

I also needed to deposit a check and saw a link for “mobile deposit.” All I needed to do was take pics of the front and back of the check through the app, and just like that, the deposit was done. For some reason, I was thrilled about this. I felt an immense sense of accomplishment, perhaps because I still had the check in my hand. I had managed to “have my cake and eat it too.” (Can I keep using “mobile deposit” to deposit the same check? The bank didn’t say anything about that.)

I’ve always admired older people who keep up with new technology, whether it’s an 80-year-old woman who posts photos of herself on Instagram or a 75-year-old man who uses Tinder to get dates for bingo night.

I hope when I’m that age, I’ll also be willing to try new things, learn new things. Learning should be a life-long habit. But it’s so easy to allow ourselves to be stagnant. We think we know enough to make it through the rest of our lives. Why put in the effort to learn something new?

Well, perhaps because learning new things stimulates our brains and allows us to not fall too far behind all the young people, such as my 16-year-old daughter, Divya.

Next time she asks me why I don’t have an Instagram account, I’m going to reply, “Because I’m too busy using my banking app to make mobile deposits. You should try it sometimes.”


Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]



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