I’ve recently made a pretty useful remote support discovery. Despite the fact that my elderly parents are eager to join the computer world (hello Facebook), they aren’t quite the best at navigating computer problems when they arise.
In the past, I’ve tried talking them through issues over the phone (or worse yet, email), which as anyone who has tried knows, is no easy feat.
“My Word has an extra page I can’t get rid of.”
“Have you tried scrolling as far down as you can and then holding backspace?”
“Of course I’ve tried that – the page is still there!”
And so on. I’m always happy to help when I can, but boy can it be frustrating. That’s when I realized remote support is for more than just professionals. One URL and a couple clicks later, I’m viewing their screen, solving the problem painlessly. It’s almost too convenient – soon they won’t even try to figure it out themselves, and that worries me and my free time.
Reuters just published an article on a group of elderly Japanese who formed their own IT support group, called “Computer Grandmas.” That sounds like a fantastic idea to me. I might have to leave that page open on my parents’ screen the next time I remote in.
Google too recognizes the looming tech knowledge gap between us and our elders. They’ve taken a stab at solving it with these easy self-help videos, and they’ve made it fun to send one to Ma or Pa.
Who knows, maybe someday, my mom will be schooling me in the complexities of IT.