May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012

Generation Gap

While helping my parents with an internet-based transaction for the eleventy billionth time yesterday, I realized that it’s just a case of “what goes around comes around.” My parents, despite their many wonderful qualities, are woefully unsavvy when it comes to technology. I taught my mom to use Skype before she moved to Turkey, and nearly hanged myself during the process. Neither of them has a Facebook, or a Twitter, or even a Gmail. (Well, okay, my mom has a Gmail, but she doesn’t use it. I created it for her so she could…actually, I don’t even remember the reason.)

Unfortunately, more and more home- and employment-related transactions are going online-only. And while I don’t mind helping my parents update their health insurance coverage or pay the occasional utility bill, I do sometimes wish they understood what Google is.

Until it dawned on me that my parents’ generation had to do the same sort of stuff for THEIR parents. Take my dad’s parents, for instance.* They didn’t know how to drive. Instead of learning how to drive, they took public transportation until their oldest child (one of my aunts) learned how to drive. She then toted them wherever they needed to go.


Perhaps your parents were exasperated when their parents didn’t understand phonographs, or typewriters, or Pong. And your grandparents would’ve given anything to teach their parents how to use the phone, or a pocket camera. (Note: my knowledge of inventions is pretty limited, so please substitute innovations that would actually make sense here. The lightbulb? The cotton gin? Idk.)

Just think what your kids will be doing for you someday? I mean, we all think we’re the bee’s knees right now, with our Google+ and our foursquare. But once holograms and gesture-based technology come into play, we will be pretty much obsolete. Many of you have already spawned, so you’ll be all set. I myself plan to go hermit, until our robot overlords let me upload into the Matrix.

Time’s a funny thing, innit?

* Disclaimer: My dad’s parents had him in their 40s. So you may need to add a generation when considering your own family.

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