Technology and Old People (most notably my mom)

Don’t tell my mom I called her old!  As far as the world is concerned, she is 39 (and is perfectly okay with the idea that her daughter is turning 30 because, you know, the rate of 9 years olds getting pregnant and giving birth is really out of control).

There are tons of studies and millions upon bajillions of dollars spent on researching/developing technology that will benefit the elderly.  A lot of my graduate classes focused on the need for developing technology for children, disabled or the elderly.

Think about it.  How many “old” people do you know that frequently use computers let alone things like Twitter?

I’m actually kind of appalled by the number of people my mother’s age that are on Facebook.  Stop sending me friend requests!  It creeps me out.

But what I find really funny is seeing who is adopting this technology versus who is the stereotypical target audience by which the elderly studies are focused.

I’m referring to the stark difference between my mother and my mother-in-law (who are roughly the same age).

Mother – she doesn’t know how to turn on the computer
Mother-in-law – can create documents, send e-mails, and who knows what else… but she can turn it on.

– she doesn’t know how to turn on the computer however she did recently learn of the term “e-mail” and understood it to be a form of communication
Mother-in-law – uses e-mail frequently

Digital Cameras:
Mother – she doesn’t know how to load pictures from a digital camera to a computer (it would help if she knew how to turn it on)
Mother-in-law – uses a digital camera often, can upload pictures, print pictures and even burn pictures to a disk

Cell Phones (this is by far my favorite of the differences):
Mother – can dial and answer phone calls but that is about it.  She does not know how to retrieve voicemail messages.  She sure as shit cannot send or retrieve text messages.  Don’t get me started on her trying to take pictures with her phone.  She actually spent a large portion of my best friend’s wedding (I was the matron of honor) trying to take a picture of ME (not the bride) during the ceremony.  She loudly fussed with her cell phone (much to the embarrassment of Jeremy) to snap a photo.

And yet she wants a smart phone.  Riiiiiiight.

Mother-in-law – not only can she dial, answer and retrieve voicemail (the basics), she is the text messaging queen!  I have a great texting relationship with her and it cracks me up.  She can even send video messages!  She sent me a video of my nephew playing to cheer me up (when my back was hurt). 

My father and father-in-law are both tech savvy people (although I will say my father-in-law is a bit savvier… I think that has a lot to do with the fact that my dad had a stroke 10 years ago).

Are your parents tech savvy?  Do you text your parents?  Are they on Facebook?  Twitter?



Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

6 responses to “Technology and Old People (most notably my mom)

  1. My grandfather, at close to 85 was the king of technology. With the vast majority of his family in England (they moved to the US in the 60’s) he would always have web-cam chats with various emails and loved what he could do! He would always send me cute emails when I was work too. Honestly, I think if he were on facebook, he would have more friends than me!!!

    Haha! I LOVE that! I wish my family was more tech-connected… especially my grandmother while she was still alive. I would have kept in touch so much better!

  2. Great post! :]
    I don’t think your mom will be too mad about you calling her old since she can’t turn on the computer to erad your blog. (hee hee)
    My mom is fairly tech-savvy; she has a Facebook (which she is quite active in), she has a cell phone (but no texting). My dad tries to keep up, but no use, really. :]

    I really am surprised by the number of parents I know that are all over Facebook (and have reconnected with old friends).

    And good point about my mom!

  3. Meredith

    My Mom has a facebook and is really into Farmville so I continue to get friends requested from her Farmville friends who assume I play as well!

    That is hilarious! But I assumed your mom was tech-savvy because of her ebay business! 🙂

  4. My father got his first computer in 1980(?). It was an Apple IIE. He can create spreadsheets, documents, mail labeling programs, etc… However, he doesn’t own a cell phone and NEVER answers his landline.

    My mother, on the other hand, has a cellphone and uses it. However, she just learned how to use a computer this year. And she called to tell me she got her first email address. I asked her if got it under the bleachers at the high school.

    Wow – your dad sounds like my dad (minus the not owning a cell phone… but my dad NEVER uses his).

  5. Amy

    my mom is pretty computer sauvy and does well with the cell phone. my dad… it’s taken him awhile. he basically just browses the internet and that’s the extent of his computer skills. Although he doesn’t understand the idea of clicking the homepage button to return to the main page, rather he’ll use the back button until he’s returned to the homepage. lol. His cell phone skills are limited to answering and dialing as well, but he holds the phone like it’s this precious little machine, afraid of dropping it. :-/

    Parents… I tell ya. 🙂

    Fun post!

    Ha! my mom actually “decorates” her cell phone like she’s a high-school asian girl. 🙂

  6. While both of my parents are on Facebook, my mom is by far the more active. What cracks me up more, however, is the fact that she loooves to comment on my blog, but when she comments she does so under a pseudonym because she doesn’t want people to think that the only reason she’s comment is because she’s my mother. As if the rest of the blogging world knows her name.

    It’s my grandmother, however, who’s the real online queen. She isn’t on facebook (that I know of) and she won’t read my blog, (doesn’t like all the swearing,) but she gets up at 4am every morning so she can talk to her chat room pals in London in her Chicago Cubs chat room. And has been doing so for probably 5 or 6 years. Crazy.

    I absolutely love that your grandmother is so active on chat rooms!

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