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Teaching Technology to Your Parents? Try These 10 Tips - The Next Tech

Teaching Technology to Your Parents? Try These 10 Tips

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by Richard Gall — 1 year ago in Top 10 3 min. read
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The world is becoming technological than ever. Younger generations see the value of technology but some boomers still haven’t adapted to it. Until recently, it wasn’t even a part of their daily lives.

Do you and your parents battle over technology constantly? I hear from you! A few years ago, I had to convince my parents to get Charter cable Internet for home use. Now, I am struggling to explain to them how to use a Firestick. It’s one thing to teach them how to use it and another to explain the value offered by it.

However, through trial and error, I have come up with tips for helping my parents gain a better appreciation for technology. And I’m sure these will help you too…


Stay Calm

Please know that you will be dealing with a lot of frustration. You will have to repeat yourself more than twice but you must try to keep your cool. Our parents didn’t grow up with technology like us. They used to communicate with landline phones. Our generation and their generation are very different. Try appreciating where they are coming from which may help the two of you get through it with ease.

Explain the Benefits

Our parents don’t have a real appreciation for technology because they don’t understand its benefits. They only think it has got us hooked to screens and to ignore face to face communication. I don’t really blame them because that’s what they see all day.

Therefore, make it your mission to teach them the value technology has to offer. Let them know it’s more than just a means of communicating with your friends and family. Explain to them how you can use technology to access information without leaving the room. Show them how you are using technology for studying or at work. Let them see the other side and it will be the first step in changing their minds.

Keep It Simple

Don’t bombard them with information, especially extra information. They don’t need to know how a router works or who supplies the Internet. Don’t throw unfamiliar phrases at them. If their phone crashes, just ask them to press the required button to fix everything.

Communicate

You have to be slow when teaching your parents how to use a new app or their smartphone, to begin with. Don’t throw instructions at them and expect them to understand everything just like that. You have to communicate properly and in some cases by practical.

Use the language they understand to make them relate to the stuff you are teaching. Remember, they will get a hang of it eventually.
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Don’t Use Tech Words/Phrases

I am sure you have so many tech phrases and slangs on your tongue. Don’t forget your parents are not familiar with them. You might call it text and they call it SMS message. I can name so many examples like this. Trust me, there’s no point in correcting them. Let them use the words they are most comfortable with.

Provide Written Instructions

Just words are not enough and video is not suited for every task. You could be great at making videos but your parents could be the type of people who prefer reading.

It’s best to provide written instructions. Create short steps. When you are writing instructions, keep in mind they are for the people who are complete novices. So don’t miss the nitty-gritty details.

Empower Them

It’s your job to empower them. Once you have taught them something new, offer them a chance to use it on their own. This will improve their confidence in their own abilities.

When they will do it on their own, it will be a different experience. Make sure you stand by to offer any help necessary.

Explain the Importance of Privacy

This is extremely crucial. It’s a good time to let them know that a password123 is not a good password.

Along with this, make them aware of phishing scams. Make it clear that they are not supposed to share their banking information, SSN or any other credentials through email, text message or call.

Let Some Things Go

Ok, there are so many things that you shouldn’t talk about. Examples:

  • Android vs iOS
  • What is a gif?
  • What’s a meme?
  • Emoticons vs emoji

And the list goes on…

Sure our parents need to know about technology but some information could be too much for them. It’s not worth your or their time. Let all such stuff go. Sometimes, ignorance can be bliss.
Also read: The Best Video Streaming Services for 2020

Repeat If You Have To

You will have to repeat yourself often. Imagine you are teaching a little kid. When you do that, keep the first tip in mind.

Conclusion

Technology has benefits for people of all ages. It can be daunting to get your parents on-board with technology but it’s not impossible. By following these tips, you can teach them how to appreciate this gift. My next mission is teaching my folks how to use the Spectrum app on FireStick. I hope it all works fine. They have improved so much and I am sure they’ll get it as well.


Richard Gall

Richard is senior editor of The Next Tech. He studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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