Like most people (I think!?), I give my parents a hard time about their lack of knowledge in the technology department.
But I always oftentimes try to patiently assist them when they have questions about how to do things on their computers or need help their iPods.
Don’t get me wrong, they do better than a lot of people their age. I mean, they do have iPods. They’re into social networking. They’re up on the Internet lingo – even if they don’t always understand it (tonight my dad asked me, “What does ‘WTF’ stand for?”).
My dad pretty much has a handle on working the TV, DVR and the DVD player. (Mom? Not so much.) My mom does blog on her own, even if she needs some help putting photos and videos in her posts.
But with me living at home right now, I’ve become, like, their live-in IT guru.
“Jane?” I’ll hear from the library, usually at night when I’m on the couch watching television or working on my laptop.
Sometimes I just get up right away and go see what they need help with. Other times, I hope I can just instruct from my comfortable seated position in the other room.
The questions range from “Why can’t I get [insert Firefox, Microsoft Word, an email attachment] to open?” to “What’s my password for my Blog Talk Radio account?” (Audrey has a show every Friday) to “What’s wrong with the printer?” to “One of my Facebook friends wants me to click on this link that says, ‘U gota see this funny vid i posted of u’ – is it safe?” (NO!)
But it’s not just my parents who need my expertise sometimes. Tonight, Audrey was over with her 4 little guys, and William was playing a Webkinz game on my mom’s laptop.
During one of his games, I heard him start to panic from the other room: “Oh no! If my guy can’t blow bubbles, I’m gonna lose!”
I had no idea about the game he was playing, but I just had a feeling that I was going to be called on for assistance. Hanging around the house enough, he’s aware of my rep.
I was right.
“Janie! Help, my guy’s gonna lose!” he screamed.
I got up from the couch (he needed help beyond me calling out instructions from the other room) and walked over to the table where he was playing.
I swept right in, and with a couple of clicks, his guy was back to blowing bubbles – and most importantly, he didn’t lose.
And the incident solidified my role as the multi-generational family IT guru.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Technological balance in the home is at stake. 😉