A Traditionalist, a Baby Boomer, and a Gen Y

My father: “Can I bother you?”

Me: “Yes?”

My father: “I can do this (he unlocks his first ever smartphone) but how do I get to the music?”

Me: “You press the app that says: Music”

My father: “So how do I get to the playlists?”

Me: “Press the button that says Playlist”

Instruction Guide

I get to choose each blog post topic and this week it comes from what has consumed my life these past couple months, technological help. Not a day goes by without a call from someone with a question. The most common question is, “Can I bother you for a minute?” (If you ever experience this you know how those 60 seconds quickly become 60 minutes.)

My family members are finally catching up with laptops and cell phones. It only takes a couple of minutes for me to know the ins and outs of the gadget. Unfortunately for my father and grandfather it takes a bit more time. The time spent with them is precious and I love being able to give back.

For the Traditionalist, my grandfather, the goal is to get him comfortable with using email, Word, Excel, and Skype. Now that he lives alone and in a different state it is more imperative that he can stay in touch. Each session would last about an hour if lucky. My favorite memory through all of this? Looking over to find my grandfather slouched over his computer snoring away. I guess the excel session ran over into nap time, but I congratulate him and anyone else who is willing to learn. He always reminds me that he knew how to work one of the first versions of excel decades ago, but that does little help now.

Opening Computer

For the Baby Boomer, my father, the recently acquired smartphone and laptop are causing constant issues. This is his first smartphone so the main issue is to remind him to take it with him wherever he goes. A phone does little when it is at home and you are at the store. But there is a learning curve, after learning how to turn it on and make calls he has progressed to texting me. I even have successfully taught him how to take a photo but it will be a while before the selfies commence. His previous laptop is 5 years old so transitioning to a new one has been difficult. The hardest part is simply setting it up so our fun filled evenings are sitting together at the dining room table installing, uploading, and configuring the laptop.

For the Gen Y, me, I get the memories and stories to share with others. Neither of them have any social media accounts so the URL of this blog post will be emailed to them and then printed it out. So in this paperless society we have the older generations eager to learn and that is where I come in to help. My self-prescribed title would be: Chief Digital Assistant to Older Acquaintances. My motto: Bring more people into the technological era.

***Update: After the conversation about music with my father, he went back to his work room and turned on the 90s era stereo. Baby steps…lots of baby steps.

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