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New website to bridge generation gap

The website is akin to a question and answer forum designed to tap the wisdom and knowledge of older folk on a variety of topics

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Singapore — A new website has been launched to help bridge the generation gap in Singapore.

Bridging the Generation Gap in Singapore from r/singapore

A new website SaltRice was launched on Monday (Feb 8), developed by volunteers working with the not-for-profit group Code for Singapore. SaltRice is a website for participants to share life’s struggles/challenges in a safe and open environment.

The topics in question are addressed by a group of seniors who have life experience and who are able to give sound advice. It aims to promote communication between citizens of all age groups, primarily between the older and younger generations.

The website works by allowing users (of a younger generation) to post a question on the page. Thereafter, the senior citizen users will comment with their answer to those questions. Much like a forum, it works in a similar method to the social media application Reddit.

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Photo: Reddit/ orcsab

Categories include: Reflections; Family-Children; Growing Old; Health; Mental Health; Dating; Food Recipes; Pastime/Passion; and Professional Work/Occupation. These are the current topics available for users to write about.

As the website was recently launched, there is still a lack of active users online. However, the developers are looking to expand the website, as well as gather more feedback on it.

The website has drawn varying responses from the community. Some are wholly supportive of this. “It’s useful [because] it lets me learn from others,” said Ashley, a 16-year-old student. She commented that it is an interesting concept as she has personally learned many important lessons from her own grandparents. “It’s good if people can learn from these [lessons] as well.”

However, others point out the flaw in this design. A 73-year-old questioned, “I don’t even use a phone, why would I use this?”.

An 18-year-old student, also noted the same problem, stating that their grandparents are not tech-savvy and would not know how to use it: “Old people don’t use technology or public forums that often. Also, are the elderly in Singapore even fluent enough in English to want to use the site?”

Reddit users also posted their thoughts on the website, noting that the website may not be elderly-friendly given how technologically advanced it is.

The creators have spoken about issues that have been raised. They say that ‘[their] goal is for the app to help arrange in-person, intergenerational discussions. This way, it will help to both reduce social isolation, as well as make it easier for the elderly who are less comfortable with technology.’ They have also noted the need for more languages on the website.

This is just the start of the innovation, and they are working on making the app more user-friendly as well as more meaningful.

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISG

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