Son of Teresa Clemons, TPC Office Manager
As a fifteen-year-old in today’s society, I have adapted to technology more than those who are older. Things that take hours for my grandparents to figure out are second-nature to me. I am so grateful that I have four living grandparents who range from the ages of eighty-three to ninety-three. Even though this brings me happiness to know that I have my grandparents still alive, this also gives me some responsibility, knowing that I have to assist them with learning the technology of today’s world. It takes patience, but when they do get the hang of it, it makes me happy to see them succeed. For example, my grandfather is always asking me for help at his house. From the computer to the printer to the television, there are lots of things that are harder for him that come easily to me. My patience needs to kick in when I’m showing him where the HDMI cable goes and that somehow leads to a fifteen-minute story about the Vietnam War. A lot of these stories are really interesting, but others make me wonder, “Did he forget the task at hand?”
Another big task for me was when my grandmother switched from a basic flip phone to an iPhone. At first, it was like trying to teach a baby to walk. Every time she almost got the hang of it, something went wrong. From hitting the power button instead of the volume to clicking the phone app instead of email, there were so many things that made me almost tell her that she should just get a flip phone again. This stressed me out, but it also made me think: the reason that modern technology comes so easily to us teens is because it’s all we’ve been around growing up. When my grandmother was a teen, it was just as easy for her to turn the page on a book or use a typewriter. Opening a book and operating a phone may seem like completely different things, but when you associate them with their uses in the respected time periods, they both have had the same impact on the world.
Although my grandparents might not be savvy with the internet, they have had to learn lots of skills over their lifetimes which modern technology has allowed me take for granted. Instead of using a card catalog, I can quickly type whatever I’m looking for into the computer. Instead of figuring out how to get somewhere with a big, hard-to-fold map (and hoping you don’t take a wrong turn!), I can just use the maps app on my phone. Rather than get frustrated by their unawareness of the technological way to do things, I should be thankful that people of my grandparents’ and my parents’ generations were innovative enough to inspire and work toward creating the technology that I enjoy using today.