Whether it’s Dad poking you on Facebook or Mom calling to ask what your “ttyl“ text meant, we’ve all been there. The struggle between our parents and technology is seemingly endless but have no fear, relief is here.
Here are three ways parents generally struggle with technology:
You are a child of technologically challenged parents, as you well know.
The trick here is to set expectations for them, and set them low. Stick to the basics, like initiating a video call and answering an incoming call. After a few successful test calls from the other room, you can advance them to IM. IM is just as easy to use as video calling, but it may take them some time to get used to the fast pace of IM chat. At least you don’t have to factor in auto-correct nightmares!
The Early Adopters
If your parents are the first to know about the latest tech craze, you are part of a rare and elite group– the spawn of Early Adopters. Your baby photos may resemble the below image.
While there are lots of obvious pros to this, there are some cons, too. The beauty of an Early Adopter parent is they understand how Facebook and logging into email works. The fear of having an early adopter parent is they understand how Facebook and logging into email works. But really, you are one of the lucky ones.
Oh, and if you want to beat Mom and Dad to the punch, stay up on your TechCrunch reading.
Will my daughter lose all her social skills? Will my son be cyber-bullied? Will he become a cyber-bully? Paranoid parents are freaked out by the notion of a World Wide Web – and they don’t trust it. Unwilling to participate in our digital era, these parents rebel against technology. When you’re at home, anticipate that your social media sites will be blocked, your passwords switched, and more security software installed than you knew existed. Also, don’t be surprised to find out a concerned parent is using your phone’s GPS tracking, unbeknownst to you. They just want to keep you safe, okay?
The best thing to do in this situation is to re-introduce your parents to the Internet in ways that fit their lifestyle. Mom likes to shop? Teach her the joys of clicking your way to new shoes. Dad likes nature? Show him how to download a star-gazing app for his iPad. Brace yourself for a learning curve. Case in point:
Once you have piqued their interest and shown some constructive applications of technology, send your parents a tech care package. These e-packages – complete with video tutorials – share some basics that a reformed rebel will find supremely informative.