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Parents and technology #epicfail

Photo of Keredy Andrews Keredy Andrews 07/12/2012

Slightly cruel it may be, but people my age and younger take pleasure in laughing at parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles when they dare to get ‘teched-up’ and then get it so horribly wrong… #epicfail. Here are my three favourite true stories.

Whilst more an example of over enthusiastic misuse rather than a failing, the first is about an old friend of my mum’s who joined Facebook and became my friend. Her status updates are quite normal, she shares content and uploads photos in what I would consider an appropriate amount, but the likes… oh the likes! Seriously, I think she has liked everything I have posted since we became connected and of course it’s sweet, but my notifications sometimes go crazy. I can only assume she visits my page every few days and catches up on all those thumbs up…. Little does she know that Facebook is not a game where liking as much content as possible is the aim!     

My mum recently started using Twitter – do follow her if you’re reading this, as a flood of notifications will really get her puzzled – but the weird questions she started to ask me had me feeling like she was talking a different language. After some time I figured out that she wanted to know if her tweets were being sent, as the posts she had sent to the local TV news weren’t being displayed on its profile. I explained how tweets aren't sent in the same way as social-media-crisis.html and only a person’s or organisation’s own tweets show up on their profile page. I explained another time… and another. By the time I looked at her profile so that I could explain AGAIN using a real life example she’d deleted all the tweets. Then, with no intended irony, she wrote to me: “@the_only_keredy just tweeted and still don't think I'm doing it right x”. In the past two weeks she’s managed to retweet twice, but I daren’t open the hashtag conversation yet!

Fail Whale

And lastly, a friend’s dad decided to get an social-media-crisis.html account so, like the dutiful son, my friend set the account up. My friend explained that you just have to log in with the address and password, but time and time again his dad couldn’t make his social-media-crisis.html work. They discussed it on the phone and at the pub, but eventually my friend said he would go round and see what the problem was. “So show me what you’ve been doing, Dad, type in your social-media-crisis.html address there and your password underneath… Dad…. No…. It’s hotmail full stop com, not hotmaildotcom”.

One of my jobs this Christmas holiday is to set my mother-in-law up on Facebook so she can keep in closer touch with us and the rest of her family. Why don’t you give an older technophobe a helping hand… if nothing else, it might just give you a laugh!