ICYMI: Technology changes between generations

Columnist Ellie Papadakis talks about her parents’ technology skills — or lack thereof.

Just like any person my age, I love giving my parents a hard time about being a little bit technologically inept.

I mean, my grandmother has a Facebook and tablet, so that technically makes her more tech-savvy than my parents.

Here are just a few of the best one-liners that my mom and dad have said to me:

Dad: “What is the Pint-er-est and the Flick-r? They had a whole book on how to use Facebook at the bookstore today, too. Is there actually that much to learn?"

Mom: “Ellie, you set up my Yahoo Gmail, but I don’t know how to get to it.”

Dad: "See? Isn't Skyping with me fun? It's like having your own personal reality TV show!"

A few years ago, my mom and I bought new phones. Somehow I convinced her that buying herself (and me) an Android would allow us to connect more and it would be easier for her to check work emails and go online.

I mean, the plan worked and I got my smartphone. But while mine is all nice and organized and has apps on it, my mom still has no idea how to turn up the brightness level on hers.

At least now that I’m at Mizzou, I don’t have to worry about getting frustrated when Mom asks (for the millionth time) how to attach a file to her email. Now it’s my poor sister’s problem.

The thing is, every time I roll my eyes at my parents or tell them to google the answer to a question, they always retort with, “You know, back in my day computers were the size of refrigerators,” or, “You know, one day you’re going to have kids, and all this new technology will be out, and you’ll be asking them for help, and they’ll make fun of you.”

I like to think that that won’t be the case, or at least that I’ll be able to keep up with any new technology that comes out. I mean, I know adults who are able to do it, and are continuously excited when they learn about new software. Besides, in an industry like journalism, I feel that like that’s imperative.

Also, I’m a completely different generation that my parents. I mean, I may have been young, but I still remember the sound of dial-up Internet well enough to miss it. I –– and people my age –– am right in the middle of a changing industry and technological world. It’s really important that I keep up.

As for my parents, it would help them immensely if they could catch up.

Anyway, one day I plan to make a book out of all of my parents little Internet quips, but in the mean time I think I’ll just stick to posting my favorite ones on Facebook. For the “likes,” of course.

More Stories