Technology Stuff

by Jason

Today my mom had a major technical issue that she needed help with.  She had received an email that she needed to print off.  The problem was that the text of the email was in blue ink.  Of course this doesn’t sound like any kind of difficulty, but for some reason we own the unique kind of printer that will not print in blue.  Even if you set it to print in black and white, it just won’t print out the blue stuff.

Now, I am definitely not a geek.  I guess it would be nice if I was because I’m sure I could quickly pull out my screw driver, type a few 1’s and 0’s, and we’d no longer have any problems.  But of course, I have no idea why this printing machine is so incompetent and honestly, I don’t care to.  However, I do know enough to change the color of the text to black.  Then it will print just fine.

My mom had no idea how to do this.  So she asked me to lend my expertise by teaching her how to accomplish this magnificent feat.

It can be really awkward showing your stone age parents how to use modern conveniences.  This experience was no exception.

As soon as I sat down at the computer my mom pulled out a sheet of paper and started taking notes.  I started clicking away and she told me to slow down and tell her what I was doing.  So I tried, but she was scribbling notes on that piece of paper so frantically that she never even looked at the screen. 

I yelled at her telling her to at least watch what I was doing.  She would reply by saying she had to write things down.  I would respond by explaining that it is a very simple process and I couldn’t believe that she was actually taking notes.  She pointed out to me that she had never taken a computer class.  I told her that none of what I was showing her was ever taught to me in a computer class.  (Come to think of it. . . I don’t think I’ve ever taken a computer class.)

Then my unnecessary impatients turned into complete shock.  I switched from her email window to Microsoft Word where I was copying the text of the email, and she asked me where the other screen went.  She had absolutely no idea how to get back to that screen without exiting out of the current one.

My mouth hung open in disbelief.   Could it really be that my mother had been using this computer for all these years and never knew anything about tabs on the task bar?  How did she even use the computer?

I showed her how to use them.  She learned something else new.  Two lessons for the cost of one.

Though it often irritates me that my mom doesn’t have a cell phone, at least I don’t have to teach her how to use one.  I also must add that when it comes to finding things online you would want to ask my mom over me anyday.  Honestly, I don’t know how she does it, but no matter what it is, she can find it.  I guess I just don’t have the patiences like she does.  She has to have a lot because she still uses dial-up.  (Yes, truly the stone age. . . .)