KHUNYING CHATCHANI CHATIKAVANIJ, the honorary chairwoman of Loxley Pcl., wakes up at 5 am everyday. Even though she is nearly 80 years old she switches on her computer at least five days a week, to look at the Internet, check e-mail and send Words of Wisdom to more than 200 friends.
"I am not an old person. I'm just a senior citizen", Khunying Chatchani maintains.
Also as chairwoman of the Old People Playing Young organisation (OPPY), which encourages older people to use and become more aware of digital technology, Khunying Chatchani regularly uses the Internet as a working tool.
"I would say the Internet is very important for me - I'm really a keen user. I use it to search for information and, importantly, communicate with my secretary for work," she said.
Khunying Chatchani normally e-mails her requests to the secretary at night so she will be able to prepare everything for her befroe she arrives at the office the next day. She said this makes her work faster and more efficient.
Meanwhile, she also loves to discover new things on the Internet. "I search all the time. Sometimes I look up new recipes and so on. Entering the world of the Internet makes me feel fresh and helps me keep up with changes in society. I never feel old or out of date. Instead, I often find I have new ideas to keep me going," she said.
Khunying Chatchani is a good example of a senior citizen who has paced into the digital era with no fear. Her hope when setting up OPPY seven years ago was to help other senior citizens feel like her. So far OPPY has trained more than 2,700 people to use the Internet. The course is designed for people over 45.
OPPY provides five computers and IT courses, which include basic computer use, creating name cards and greeting cards, Excel, MSN and how to use slide shows.
"I want to take advantage of IT skills among senior citizens and I believe that the Internet can help them have more friends and become more active, especially in their retirement period," she said.