With everything going digital and the only safe place you can explore is the internet, it’s no surprise that young folk have received more questions related to technology and the internet from older relatives. As my parents get more and more into the digital world—my dad with his online gaming and my mom with her online shopping and Viber shenanigans—I am reminded of the differences between us in relation to the norm dictated by generations. Being stuck at home 98 percent of the time since last year, I’d like to share a few tips to help bridge that gap:
Game with them
My father is technologically inept but becomes some sort of digital whiz when it comes to his favorite online shooter games. Not knowing how to use Google does not stop him from improving his knowledge on phones so he could do better in rank and kills. Just like playtime for kids is an educational experience, online gaming is just as good at helping individuals adjust to the 21st century as it makes use of multiple gadgets. Plus, you get to spend some time with your parent or older relative doing something you enjoy—you think dad would start to realize just how important a wider screen would be?
Invite them to your current digital obsession
As someone nearing her mid-twenties, I am starting to understand the feeling of being left out by the younger generation. I didn’t think this feeling would come so early but here I am still trying to catch up on online trends (TYG for food TikToks. These I can get with). I get it. Not everyone is comfortable exposing their interest to their parents but, hey, if you are gonna be stuck at home together, might as well find things you can bond over.
Teaching someone about shared interests makes things much more engaging and fun. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself a TikTok dance partner or a marathon buddy to watch your kdrama with you until dawn. (Eomma, can we order some korean chicken too?)
Teach them how to search for themselves
Modern problems require modern solutions. If you can’t be there for their technological inquiries, then teach them via the all knowing source: *the Internet*. Need I say more?
The internet undeniably knows way more than you, but a little help from a fellow human won’t hurt. This way they can continue to discover the wonders of technology at their own pace—just do your best to keep them away from the sketchy sites and scams (yes, dad I’m talking to you)
Simply be patient
What are a few simple answers to questions? Before you curse at your parents for not knowing how to use the internet, remember that what may come as natural to you, may not be something they had to do before this pandemic forced our lives to rely heavily on online resources. You may compare them to kids who treat apps on their tablets like it’s second nature, but remember that it is what they’ve become accustomed to (now that’s a discussion for another article).