Have you noticed that when a group of people of our age get together, at some point someone will mutter: “Life is so complicated these days” – and everyone will agree.

Often this arises because of a recent struggle with our collective pet hate – the verification of purchases by code when using apps or shopping online.  

You may think you’ve mastered a parking app, for example, but then you receive a message saying you’re being sent a code by your bank which you’re required to tap into your phone.

This is a moment of pure panic for many of us because we’re often outside, with the wind blowing, we can’t see very well, and our spectacles are rarely to hand.

Worst of all, we’re sure that if we come out of the app to access the code, we might never get back into it. I’m sure younger people don’t have these anxieties.    

So, what can we do, short of keeping a teenager attached to our hip at all times?

At home, I shop, or book theatre or cinema tickets, using my PC, leaving my phone free for the verification code.

I know many of you do the same. It’s still a worry but not as bad as negotiating the whole process on one device.

However, I believe we can get better at this with practice, so long as we keep calm, don’t do it when we’re in a hurry – and remember to breathe!    

The truth is that our generation has probably seen more changes during our lifetime than any other in history.  

So, we should focus on our resilience and remind ourselves that as we have mastered so much technology already, we can get our heads around this too.  

Do you remember when VHS recording came in and how difficult it was in the early days to set the timer for the TV programme you wanted?

We coped – and helped our parents cope too, as I recall.  This was much harder than the streaming we do nowadays.  

But to return to the codes, if they’re a big problem for you, try going into your bank’s local branch if you still have one, or ring the relevant customer service, because some banks and building societies offer alternatives such as ringing your landline or mobile.  

However, perhaps we also need to accept that the biggest barrier we have to surmount in this situation is our own attitude.

Do we want banks to be vigilant, and careful to ensure that only we can access our money?

Yes, we do. So, let’s try and rid ourselves of the negative inner commentary which says: “I shouldn’t have to do this” Or: “I’m so stupid, it’s hopeless”.

These phrases set us up to fail.  

It also helps if we remove the rose-tinted spectacles we tend to wear when we look back at the past, and instead remember it as it really was.  

Cheques, for example, weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

They took days to arrive, they got lost in the post with amazing regularity, or they bounced, or we mislaid them and then had to visit the bank – which usually had very long queues – in order to stop that cheque and protect our money.   

Obtaining cash for travelling abroad was also tough. We had to order, and take with us, sufficient currency for the country we were visiting, and/or buy travellers’ cheques.

My memory of those though is that often smaller hotels and cafes didn’t accept them, so you had to resort to cash, and it was all too easy to run out.

About 40 years ago, I had so little local currency left on a European city break that I was praying my bus to the airport wouldn’t charge more than I’d budgeted for. I made it, just.

But then the plane was delayed, and I didn’t even have the price of a cup of coffee to see me through the hours of waiting.

So, were the good old days really so great? Perhaps not. At least not before the advent of ATMs.

And, in terms of communication we’re very much better off since we’ve had mobile phones.

It’s wonderful to be so easily in touch with friends and family through social media.

But more importantly, we can summon help, or relay information at all times.

It used to be really hard to change arrangements or let people know you were running late when you were away from home.

When I was a presenter for Anglia TV, I was always driving across country to places like Milton Keynes to open bazaars, or film reports.

If there were any holdups it was a nightmare.

Unless I could find a phone box that worked, I had no way of letting relevant individuals know what was happening to me. I recall feeling very vulnerable as I searched for public phones, often in the dark, in remote places.

That was scary as well as complex.

So yes, life is complicated today. No doubt about it. But actually, it always was – just in different ways. We should probably keep that in mind.