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Opinion

Life lessons from social media

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

If you open your mind, you can get many gems of thoughts on social media that you seldom encounter from reading books.

Social media websites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube – serve their specific purposes on the internet (sometimes referred to as the “information superhighway”).

When I sometimes get tired of reading books, I surf through social media sites. There I find not just entertainment but valuable life lessons, too.

I consider the following advice I gathered from various social media websites useful for us seniors.

Between 60 and death

It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no idea of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember, nothing is more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned money.

This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or foolproof. They only bring problems and worries. This is the time for you to enjoy peace and quiet.

Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You’ve taken care of them for many years and taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.

Keep yourself healthy without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get proper sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, and have tests done even if you’re feeling well. Stay informed.

Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day, one of you will miss the other, and money will not provide comfort. Enjoy it together.

Don’t stress over little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good and bad memories, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Minor issues will soon be forgotten.

Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor. Remember the saying, “A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection.”

Be proud both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your beauty salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.

Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your sense of style. You’ve developed your sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are.

Always stay up to date. Read newspapers and watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised at what old friends you’ll meet.

Never use the phrase, “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time.

Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideas as you, but they are the future and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today.

Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people. It’ll rub off on you. Your days will seem much better. Spending time with bitter people will make you feel older and harder to be around.

Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have the financial choice). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need privacy. They need theirs, and you need yours. Even then, do so only if you feel you need the help or do not want to live alone.

Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read and dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, and grow a kitchen garden. Play cards, checkers, chess, dominos and golf.

Try to get out of the house every so often. Meet people you haven’t seen lately, and experience something new (or something old). The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a park. Get out of there.

Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you need to. Try to accept situations as they are.

Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them, and accept them as a part of life.

If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said, “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.

Laugh. Laugh away your worries. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age.

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