Prague, March 26 (CTK) – Czech elderly people have been starting to appreciate the Internet as for the lonely ones this may be the only connection with the world, Jan Raska, founder of the i60 online magazine, told Saturday’s issue of Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
The server, which has been operating since 2012, has thousands of visitors every day. It is not true that all elderly people are afraid of computers and that almost none of them can afford to pay the Internet connection from their pensions, MfD writes.
Many Czech pensioners have problems to make ends meet, but if two pensioners share a household, they are often better off than young families. As far as PC skills are concerned, the elderly people give avice to one another and their children or grandchildren often teach them how to do what they need on the computer, Raska said.
As there are nearly three million seniors in the Czech Republic and their number will keep growing, it is important to seek ways to enjoy this part of life, he added.
The communication website addressed the demand for relaxation, entertainment and interconnecting people. Following the example of pensioners in Western Europe, Czech seniors started enjoying life, they are not grumpy and they do not like to be described as an endangered group, Raska told the paper.
He said he and his brother-in-law got inspired by their parents who were in their 70s and complained about being fed up with all the negative news and not having an opportunity to do something entertaining and enjoying. This led to the idea of an online magazine for seniors, he added.
Raska said became more popular once the readers themselves started considerably contributing to its contents.
At present, the seniors create 90 percent of the magazine. They present their life stories and experiences, tell about their travels, make photographic reports, discuss issues, speak of their troubles and comments on the contributions of other people.
“We receive nice stories from women that became widows, but found new partners with whom they have a beautiful autumn of their lives. The server sometimes works as a sort of group therapy, people share their sorrows, other readers express their support. One lady recently wrote that she lost her son. But most of the texts are very optimistic and witty,” Raska said.
The most popular sections are personal stories, including more than 5000 texts, creative writing, including short stories and poems, the photo of the day as well as the fashion section and the lonely hearts section, MfD writes.
Within the Senior Fashion project, 15 fashion shows with old ladies presenting clothes have been organised so far.
Raska said the high popularity of the fashion section took him by surprise.
The first fashion show took place in Prague in 2014 and one of the models was a very vital 84-year-old lady, he said, adding that nearly 700 old ladies have shown interest in modelling.
Two thirds of the readers are women, which became very apparent last autumn when a lonely hearts section was launched, MfD writes.
Chatting is very popular as well and registered readers may get connected based on their hobbies such as gardening, collecting and photographing.
The magazine does not publish political texts, but the readers deal with political affairs in their discussions. For example, there are groups of supporters of President Milos Zeman, now aged 71, and groups of his opponents, MfD writes.
Raska said businesspeople are slowly becoming aware of how promising group the pensioners may be. With the higher life expectancy, people spend one fourth or even one third of their lives in retirement and during this time they may buy two TV sets, a car and several holidays at the seaside, he said.
“We want to take advantage of this and develop an offer of services around the present magazine. We want to include into the portal the so-called transaction business, but also new projects from the sphere of education,” Raska said.