Have you taught your parents to be tech savvy?

Does yout tech support wear a froggy towel? Lilina came out of her bath to help Mimi on her new iPad. Lilina loves to make movies on Michael's iPad. They are quite funny but take up way too much memory.

Does yout tech support wear a froggy towel? Lilina came out of her bath to help Mimi on her new iPad. Lilina loves to make movies on Michael's iPad. They are quite funny but take up way too much memory.

My 60-something parents flew back to Atlanta yesterday after spending about two weeks with us and during that time we had some serious technology boot camp.

My mother wanted to buy an iPad to do Facetime with the grandkids and to look at photos but she hadn’t really played with one before. So during the first week of their visit, my 9-year-old and 5-year-old showed my mom how the iPad works.

My mom liked it so Michael helped her pick one out to buy. Michael got her all set up including a bunch of apps. He set up her address book for Facetime so she could “call” us.

She also has now joined the rest of the world on Facebook. Although she says she doesn’t want to talk on it. She just wants to look at photos of our kids, my brother’s kids and my cousins’ kids.

She did get excited about posting her profile photo and “friending’ my aunt and Godmother. It was sweet because all the cousin’s started friending her as soon as they noticed she was on.We set up an app so she could print photos of the kids from Facebook.

Now she just needs to get Internet set up at her house, (They don’t have the internet people!) and she will be all ready to go!

My dad didn’t do quite as well.  I played secretary for my father and I tried to teach him how to use his email more effectively. We worked on clicking between emails, enlarging print and screen percentage and attaching documents. My mom left in better shape than my dad did.

Have you helped your parents with Facebook, iPads, email, photo sharing and other technology? What do they have the hardest time with? What comes the easiest? Who does better on it: your mom or dad?

Have your kids helped you do anything with technology?

29 comments Add your comment


November 28th, 2012
1:12 pm

No I didn’t. My parents took computer classes at the Senior Center. If anything, they teach me. I hate working on computers, and only do it at work. we have an iPad at home, but I very rarely get on it. I do play a couple of games, and that’s it.

I stay far away from technology when I’m not at work. I can go all weekend without a computer.


November 28th, 2012
1:28 pm

Umm Theresa, I don’t have internet at home either..No computer, no IPad, no tablet, no kindle..We have TV and cell phones..That’s about as high tech as it gets..


November 28th, 2012
1:39 pm

My dad is pretty tech savvy, mom won’t even look at anything electronic.

But OMG, no internet??? That is TOO funny!!!


November 28th, 2012
1:47 pm

My mother is completely uninterested — even when I point out that FB, Skype, etc. is a wonderful window into the lives of her grandchildren and children, she gets stubborn and says, “If they want me to know what’s going on in their lives, they can call me.” “But mom, NOBODY calls any more.” “They do if they want to talk to me.” “Mom, notice that the phone isn’t ringing?”

She MAYBE checks her email once a month. *sigh*.


November 28th, 2012
1:49 pm

My mom is tech savvy, she knows how to take a pic w/her smart phone & upload it to facebook. She knows how to tag, post & share pics on facebook as well.

Phil from Athens

November 28th, 2012
1:56 pm

My parents just upgraded to an iMac and they love it. Took them all of a day to learn the OS system and they love it. As far as iPads go, they’re super easy to use.


November 28th, 2012
2:09 pm

I’m only 48 but my kids are still teaching me. Like Mayhem, I can go all weekend and never look at a computer. I get enough of them during the week. My phone also doesn’t get out where I live and I actually enjoy it. Hubby’s does have service so if anyone wants to reach me, they call him or my daughter. He likes the phone a lot more than I do anyway.


November 28th, 2012
2:23 pm

Have I taught my mom to be tech savvy?

You might as well ask if I’ve taught any fish to drive lately.

And we must assume that Becky ^^^ is doing all of her blog posting on company time then.


November 28th, 2012
2:25 pm

@ Becky I ended up getting internet this year. They really do start needing in it in Middle School…even the younger one has had some use for it. You may want to think about it, plus we can look up assignments on the teacher blogs or check grades.

My parents had iPads since last Christmas. They had smart phones first too. My Dad is an egghead. Mom is less savvy and in fact could not get the audio book on ipad to work (we were in the car) so she handed it to my older one who had it up and running within in seconds.

They both had facebook early on too. My mom uses it to see other people’s photos not to talk. I now have an account to keep up with friends from HS or work that have crossed my path. My account is linked to update me on phone when my child does anything too. :)

I now have skype on my smartphone so my child can talk to her buddy in AZ.

My grandfather does email and facebook and he is 94! Apparently you can teach old dogs new tricks if they are willing to learn :)


November 28th, 2012
2:27 pm

I am not tech savvy. I can pretty much work what I need, except the TV remote and thus I do not watch TV…haha.

I have two desktops ( one Mac) at home and a laptop but am looking at a tablet before the end of the year. . I would like one with “port” ( is that correct?) to use an attachment as a document camera, also sometimes known as an Elmo. Any tips?

My kids are impressed that I can set the alarm on my cell phone and even text. I have a flip phone and will upgrade this month. Everyone is OFFERING me their phones…HINT: they can get a newer phone, since they are all on my account. It takes me a while to figure out a phone and so I waited until I would be home and could ask for help. No more airports until 2013, for me.

My Dad just turned 75. He does not have a cell phone nor a computer. He complained ( to me) that telephone booths were being de-activated, last year. We bought him a GPS and he does use that.
My step mom does use her computer and I can touch base with her on Facebook too. A different generation! Remember, they did not even have microwaves when they were first married or garage door openers.


November 28th, 2012
2:28 pm

here is a weird one though….my ex is on FB and all. He asked the kids to send him a Christmas wish list, they said they would email it. He said NOPE want you to write it and walk it the mail box.

WTF? He is lucky they are willing to send anything…they really hate even email.

One big use for their email? Sending the assignments to their teachers so that if they forget it (they have ADD and ADHD and this a big one for them) they can print it off at school.


November 28th, 2012
3:12 pm

I would be hopelessly lost without my iPhone.

Anton Chigurh

November 28th, 2012
3:13 pm

Both died in recent years having never used a PC or smart phone.

Fred ™

November 28th, 2012
3:16 pm

Well since you got them a hackable Apple Ipad and set them up with that spyware Facebook I hope you didn’t encourage them to put their bank account info in there and do online banking from it.


November 28th, 2012
3:21 pm

@Grasshopper..Yes, I am at work using the internet..It’s called a lunch break..We do get those, plus we get two ten minute breaks..

@FCM..That’s why I will be looking into it..The kids are going to start needing it.. Plus, the boy is big on coming home and telling me that he has no homework, but the girl has homework but the girl has homework every night..

Fred ™

November 28th, 2012
3:26 pm

MJG: The Ipad sounds like what you want. You can use ELMO, (I’m assuming you mean Elmo Document camera), and if you are doing it with your Apple laptop then it will be much the same. Just don’t use your Ipad for finances, there is no security and almost every app requires full root access to your Ipad.

As far as phones? Since you already have Apple laptop, and desktop computers and potentially an apple Ipad, get an Iphone. Not a 5, but a 4s. The Iphone 5 will use a different cord than the rest of your apple products and the 4s is more than enough for you.

I can go back and forth between Apple and PC but then I’ve been doing it for 30+ years. But for most folks, I think for ease they should stick to one OS (operating system).

Good luck and have fun with your new phone.


November 28th, 2012
3:45 pm

@Mayhem – your iPhone is just a small computer so you’re not really staying away from it :)

My parents are pretty young considering all things so they are tech savvy. My dad could careless once he leaves work though. My mom has an iPhone, is on Facebook and spends way more time than she should on the computer quite frankly. My son always shows my mom new tricks when she visits though.


November 28th, 2012
4:26 pm

LOL! My dad is almost 80 and is doing good to use his cell phone for calls. There are no other functions on his phone. He gets frustrated just making calls (slight mental impairment from a stroke).

My husband finally got his certificate saying he was the last man in America to not have a cell phone, so he got one ;) I promised to disconnect the landline if he did. But I have a fundamental problem with not having a landline of some sort so I think we will get some sort of VOIP.
I still have a dumb phone because I don’t want to pay for a data plan – 2 kids in college. Ouch!


November 28th, 2012
4:42 pm

GardenDiva – not all VoIP phones are created equally and it really depends on your home internet service.
I’m a big techie and I still refuse to give up the solid quality of a landline. My husband and I both work from home so we actually have two landlines… I justify it by remembering how much money I save in gas!


November 28th, 2012
4:44 pm

@ Garden Diva, we have two kids in college and have data plan for their phones and my husband too.

@ Fred…my laptop is not Apple, that is the desktop. So, I need to start from scratch. I need it to take to conferences, when I speak. Power Point is a PAIN, for the things I use, so this was suggested to me. I believe I will get an Iphone…any other tips?


November 28th, 2012
5:02 pm

MJG- you can get an android tablet like the ASUS transformer for your ELMO use. Yes, you need a USB port for that, and you would have to get a dongle for that with an iPad. Alternatively, document camera wise, the IPEVO is very simple and easy to use, and is pretty much plug & play.

No internet?

November 28th, 2012
5:24 pm

…when they find out the cost they may still be without it – and all that “training and friending” will be for naught…


November 28th, 2012
6:06 pm

@FCM: My mother asked for Christmas lists from the kids, and I said I would have them email her. “Oh, have them fax it!” “Uh, no, mom, neither one of them are anywhere near a fax” “I’m supposed to fire up my computer so they can send a list?” “It would take you 90 seconds to turn on your computer and for it to ‘warm up.’ It would take them half-a-day to find a fax machine, so yeah, you are supposed to fire up your computer!” Grr. She’s a very smart lady, I don’t know why she’s chosen this particular hill to die on.


November 28th, 2012
7:50 pm

@ DB…at least she buys them a present or even asks for their list. That would shock the stinkers out of my two.


November 28th, 2012
11:44 pm

My family is soooo tech saavy must be in our DNA..both my parents have Facebook pages & my 73 year old mom is on Twitter too. My uncle is 89 and jokes he is the oldest guy on Facebook


November 29th, 2012
8:19 am

@BlondeHoney…you work for tech…right?


November 29th, 2012
1:52 pm

Every time we go to the in-laws my wife and I tag team teaching her mom how to use Facebook, her iPhone, etc. One day she asked me “how do you find stuff on the internet?” I told her I use Google.

“Where do i buy that?” she asked. #smh


November 30th, 2012
12:42 pm

Theresa, about the note on your picture: Have you got an external hard drive? You might want to consider getting one that can be plugged into the iPad. They’re not that expensive: I think I saw a 1 TB go for about $50 or so. Lilina could put her movies on that, and hook it up to the iPad (or any other computer) when she wants to watch them, or work on one.

Or, upload them to YouTube and make them private, so that only she can view them, and anyone she wishes to share the link with, up to 50 people, so she could only share with close friends and family.

With the latter, she’d need an Internet connection at all times, but with the former, she could haul the drive around (they make them now where you don’t need a power source, just a USB cable and connection) and plug it into any computer, and play the video. Of course, that computer would need the proper software installed to view the video, unless she saves them in a universal format, like .mpeg or .mp4.

Longtime Educator

December 2nd, 2012
3:34 pm

I think the tech “savviness” of folks in their 60’s depends on their line of work. Those who worked in situations where technology was part of the job tend to be more into keeping up with email, FB, etc. Husband and I are in our early 60’s but are pretty on top of tech stuff due to working in education (elementary school and university level). My mother often said “I want to get a computer” but passed away at the golden age of 91. She never got her computer but I don’t think she could have handled it…I had to explain the whole Braves wild card thing to her every year as the regular season wound down and the playoff picture was emerging. Bless her heart…I miss her immensely!