I remember when I lived at home, I would always get frustrated with my parents for not being able to operate technology. Helping them with their smartphones, televisions and computers always tested my patience. I couldn’t understand how a human being could be so inept to use a piece of equipment.
I still really don’t understand why they desire to own powerful smartphones and devices when they don’t use features that consume this power. With that being said, it’s their money and they can spend it how they choose. Recently though, I learned to let go of this anger when helping them navigate technology.
A documentary about digital media used this quote and it really spoke to me.
“Adults are immigrants to the world of technology; we grew up in it.”
This one sentence changed my entire view of why parents can’t seem to understand technology like younger genrations do. The comparison of technology to immigrants really made sense and caused the whole concept to click.
The majority of people who move to a new country as an adult, often retain their accent and culture beliefs from their country. Children, on-the-other-hand, adapt and learn the ways of a new country quickly and transition to the new environment easily. If you think about it, people with accents speak the same english that we speak, but they may take longer to get their point across.
Because my generation grew up with technology, we adapted and let is shape our brains to use it to the full extent. Adults still have a large sense of the world before technology. They speak the digital language, but it make take them longer to find the point.
Children’s brains are growing and learning at a much faster pace than that of an adult. They are able to learn new things quickly. Because technology was available at a young age, we learned it quickly and incorporated it into our knowledge. This is completely different than how adults with fully formed brains were introduced to technology.
Now whenever my parents have issues operating their devices and call me for tech support. I’ll just think about myself trying to communicate with people in Spain. In both cases, we can speak the language, but it takes longer to process it and figure out what it means. So your welcome Mom and Dad. I get it now and will be willing to help you with any technological concerns you may have.