by Katie Marino
Have you ever received constant text messages from an unknown number with phrases like "L.A.L: iS that rite"? Do you have an abundance of missed calls from the same number in Florida with creepy blank voicemails? Or do you find yourself denying the same friend request that says "graduated in 1955"?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, I’m sorry to inform you that you may have a technologically handicapped grandparent.
For years we wondered if our Pop-Pops or Grannies would ever master the art of DVR, the craft of text messaging or the complexities of Facebook-stalking. Now, they may have learned the basics of the technological world, but they are very far from being experts.
The first problem: understanding the texting lingo. My Nana just can’t seem to grasp that most people abbreviate words they are texting to make it easier to type quickly. I constantly receive texts from a worried Nana asking if "rofl" was an insult and if she should wash my brother’s mouth out with soap.
The next problem: understanding technology’s social graces. My grandpa can’t seem to process the idea that just because the Internet is in use 24 hours a day, it doesn’t mean we have to be in contact all the time. The Skype requests come every day no matter where I am: while I’m flossing my teeth, while I have pimple cream on, while watching Glee or even while I’m writing this article.
The last problem: cell phone logistics. It’s amazing that my grandpa understands how to text, call or check for voicemails on his cell phone. Yet he still has one huge problem. Instead of keeping his phone turned on all day like a normal human being, he keeps his phone shut off until he needs to call someone. So, in the event that I actually get around to returning one of his 50 voicemails, he doesn’t answer. Where’s the logic in that?
If you can relate to any of these scenarios, hang in there; hopefully the senior citizens will give up on mastering technology and move on to something easier to handle, like reading Twilight or watching Jersey Shore.
For those of you who have grandparents stuck in the Dark Ages with black and white televisions and VCRs, don’t worry, I’m sure the fad will catch up with them too. And when it does, good luck. LAL.