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Paperless world a big change for those who didn’t grow up with computers

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From reading the newspaper to paying bills, you can do just almost everything online these days, but for senior citizens, living in a paperless society can be very challenging.

Judi Baker is fed up. Starting next month, she’ll have to pay $1.50 to get a paper copy of her cell phone bill. “To me it’s ridiculous that you have to pay in order to get your bill sent to you.”

T-mobile offers customers other payment options, but Baker says snail mail is her only option. “I have no computer, I’m not computer savvy, I’m homebound, and I don’t have access to a computer, I can’t get to their office to pay.”

As the world quickly moves digital, Baker is not the only senior citizen having trouble keeping up.

“I think it’s hard for senior citizens to adapt and make those changes; young people are growing up with computers, it’s normal for them, it’s very abnormal for seniors,” said Beth Wooten of the Wilmington Senior Center.

UNCW aging professor Kelli Fellows says companies should accommodate the elderly. “When we’re saying okay you have to use the internet, you have to pay your bills on here, then it removes their notion of choice and for aging populations choice is very important, because as they get older their choices become more and more limited.”

Baker says not being able to do things the old-fashioned way is very difficult. β€œIt’s very different, it’s all new to me, it’s a new world.”

T-mobile says there are codes one can type into their cell phone, to get basic account information. Dialing 611 will go to a customer service rep that can help with payments.

Even so, Judi Baker says she’s switching cell phone companies. She intends on finding one that will allow her to get her bill the old-fashioned way and not be charged for it.

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videoFrom reading the newspaper to paying bills, you can do just almost everything online these days, but for senior citizens, living in a paperless society can be very challenging.

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