Whether it’s your teacher who’s too dumb to use the smart board or one of your parents wasting your weekends at home with their new smart phone; old people are beginning to realize that all of this newfangled technology isn’t a fad. At a time when your grandma has a Facebook and your dad just figured out how to make memes, you’re going to be forced to teach them to use their new gadgets and The Black Sheep is here to tell you how.
Step 1: Write everything down. They will not remember. No matter how much they say “I understand, I’ll remember” they don’t and they won’t. Look at our list here, you see it? Make exactly this. You cannot be too specific, assume they know absolutely nothing! Because they know absolutely nothing!
Step 2: Don’t say things like “power button” or “folder,” describe it like they would describe it. It’s not “the home button” it’s “that little doohickey that looks like a housey.” Pretend you’re literally talking to children; children who are old, senile, and maybe have PTSD.
Step 3: Only teach them the bare minimum. Don’t show grandma how to buy things on her phone or even download apps. The in-app purchase is the new Nigerian prince. If they want that new app that they heard about on Fox News, just tell them it doesn’t work on their phone. Blame the fact that it doesn’t work on whichever politician/race they dislike the most. “Sorry Grandpappy, I guess Obama and the Jews don’t want you to play Candy Crush.”
Step 4: If you have to download a few apps to stop their incessant old person complaining, stick with ones run by large companies. Facebook and Twitter now require full use of every aspect of your phone and tablet to use their apps, which is actually a good thing! When the NSA is spying on your parents and grandparents, it means you don’t have to worry about them. Why check up on your doddering old relatives when Uncle Sam is doing it for you?
Plan B: Sick of being a good person and trying to help these old people who waited way too long to catch up with technology? Tell them to do something that will break whatever they’re using, but make it subtle. When they bring it to Geek Squad to fix it, you don’t want those nerds ratting you out. Avoid things like “dunk it in a glass of water” and let them do the heavy lifting; saying things like “clean the screen, and don’t be shy with the water” will work just as well. Or try telling them it might not be working because of a loose wire, “that’s right Nana, squeeze it really hard and shake it to put everything back in place”.
Honestly, it’s not worth it to help these old fogies use technology that becomes obsolete the moment they learn to use it. That’s the point of technology, it evolves. Imagine the day that Reddit, Tumblr, and Pinterest are all filled with old people. Will you be using them anymore?
Take our advice and keep up with the trends, no matter how stupid. To borrow a phrase from Ferris Bueller, “Technology moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around you might end up too stupid to use a fucking phone.”