Let’s first start by saying that I don’t have the best track record when teaching my parents technology. It starts off alright, but after several minutes of questions I don’t really understand because of how deeply they don’t understand, things start to get tense. Successful, intelligent people don’t like to feel dumb over a stupid device, especially by their children, and I learned that lesson the hard way.
It all started during the AOL dial-up days, when I signed into my AOL account while away my freshman year at college. Before the horrific screeching sounds of logging on ended, Mom was already calling me on my very large (but stylish, thank you) cell phone.
“I can’t sign in to our AOL because it says you’re in it. I really don’t like you taking up our landline while you’re at college, Anna.”
“Uh, first off - considering you’re on your landline and I’m in Lincoln, I think it’s safe to say I’m not.”
Bad move. Sarcasm + Parents + Embarrassing Feelings = BIG TROUBLE. I got an earful, so much so I had to block it from my memory.
Things didn’t get much better over the years as technology started to take off like the Road Runner, leaving my parents in it’s dusty, lonely trail.
“Just drag it on to your desktop” wasn’t sufficient instruction, but many times it was all the instruction I had.
“Double click it” was met with “Nothing is happening. Oh here we go - oh wait, nope, it’s gone.”
“Is it in your documents folder?” is met with, “What documents folder?”