Whether it’s asking for something as simple as a Google web search or rewiring a jumbled mess of cables behind their TV, it can be a bit frustrating since we’ve been exposed to it all of our lives.
However, it would behoove you to remember that your grandparent’s first interaction with “high tech gadgets” could have been AM Radio, not a Vista powered laptop or a 100 plus channel cable box with all sorts of bells and whistles.
The video below illustrates some of the frustration they could be feeling. FYI – I felt a little sad for the lady in question, but that’s probably just my Happy Gilmore complex kicking in.
This Christmas, I sat for an hour or two listening to my grandmother tell stories of FDR and Harry Truman giving their Presidential addresses to the nation over their AM radio, while I was doing the annual maintenance on her computer.
In her day, I’m told it was a big event to just hear the voice of the President. Unlike today, where I occasionally poke fun of her for spending hours on YouTube searching for historical events or Presidential speeches that she may have only heard, not seen, through that old transistor radio.
So as the time draws near for the transition to digital TV that takes place on February 17, 2009, just remember to have a little patience when they call asking for help. You may save them some frustration, and maybe even protect them from scams targeted specially at seniors.
Better yet, set some time aside and go do it for them. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the effort, and if your family is anything like mine, you’ll get a free dinner out of it.