Amy Rees Anderson

Cut Them Some Slack, They Grew Up In A World Without Google

I’m just going to put it out there – the thought of having to teach an old person technology is absolutely terrifying. That’s why when my father, who is nearly 79 years old, needed his new iphone setup I was going to have my work cut out for me.

My father is an incredibly intelligent man who has had a very successful career, but he’s also 79 years old and no matter how smart he is at everything else, technology is simply not his strong suite. So I knew it was going to be a long night tonight when I went over to set it up. And given that I am posting my blog at 1am it clearly has been.

While I was setting up his phone it got to the screen where it asked me to put in his birth date. I put in the month and date of his birthday but when it came to the year I had to ask my dad.  When he told me the year that is when it really hit me: This man was born in 1938!!!…1938!!! No wonder technology is tough for him – just think how different the world was back in 1938!

In 1938 the ball point pen was invented – the ball point pen!  When he was 8 years old less than 10% of families owned a clothes dryer or air conditioner. By the time he was 40 years old less than 10% of families owned a microwave. By the time he was 52 years old less than 10% of families had a cell phone or access to the internet.

Man how technology has changed during his lifetime! It’s incredible to think about it. And these days it seems technology completely upgrades every two years or so making old technologies obsolete on a constant basis. It’s crazy to watch the world of technology go forward at an exponential pace.

And so tonight I realized that as hard as it is for my father to be taught all the features of the iphone, I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying it will be for my children when someday they are the ones being asked to sit down with me and teach me how to use the latest technologies…yikes!

Be kind to old people who are having to use technology…you gotta cut ‘em a little slack…after all, they did grow up in a world without Google and that is something you have to have respect for. Props to you Dad for coming so far since getting the first ball point pen 🙂

~Amy Rees Anderson

1 Comment

  • Jane says:

    That’s precious. You’re an awesome daughter. Yes, we have to be patient and if there is one place where tolerance is needed it’s in situations like these. When my mom was struggling with her computer I wrote her an illustrated user guide with only the features she needed to know. Keep It Simple.

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