Dear Older Family Members: About That Tech Help You’ve Been Wanting

Dear parents and older relatives,

Please don’t ask us to help you with your phones/computers/tablets anymore.

For years we’ve gotten a sense of ego gratification from being the tech experts at our family reunions, on our trips home to visit you, and at every event where you want to put your photos on a TV. As nice as it feels to be the (relative) tech experts, it’s not helping you or anyone else.

Now we are going on strike. We aren’t doing this because we don’t like you. We’re doing this because we love you.

Odds are, you are going to be alive for the next 40 years of innovation. If you want the next 40 years to be bearable, you are going to have to learn how to tango with technology.

Imagine how different things will be over the next 40 years. You already have a hard enough time understanding us. If you want to understand your grandchildren, you’re going to need to at least understand the basic software and hardware platforms where their lives will be happening.

There are a few things you can do now that will make the next 40 years bearable:

  • Learn how to learn about technology. Instead of asking us, Google and YouTube-search answers to your problems. The answers are there.
  • Find and use some core apps and websites that will make your life better: eBay, Expedia, LinkedIn, etc. (i.e. find a reason to love and use technology) 
  • Learn how to use those websites and software applications more effectively: read up, watch YouTube videos, etc. Learn new tech skills.
  • Stop re-using passwords or using weak passwords, start using a password manager, and start using 2-factor authentication. 

The truth is – we’ve just been figuring things out as we go. That’s something you can do, too. If you want to enjoy the rest of your life in a world increasingly defined by technology, you had better get on it.

Your children are rooting for you. And when you are ready to learn for yourselves, we are excited to guide you along the way.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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