Are you resisting technology or making it work for you?
Tell me if you’ve ever experienced this before. Some friend or family member is absolutely committed to an outdated piece of technology. You try to persuade them to “come to the dark side,” but they’re not having it. No amount of testifying or tantalizing can convince these holdouts to embrace the advantages of your favorite new gadget.
“Why do we need new technology when the old technology works perfectly well?” they ask.
Now that we’re on the same page, let me tell you about my mom …
Mom was super dedicated to her flip phone, and she had accrued a lot of minutes on her archaic plan. She was not giving them up without a fight. This attitude was all well and good until my dad passed away, but my sister and I live thousands of miles from Mom. That distance made it hard to check in on her and know she was doing okay.
We needed to persuade her to give up the old flip phone in favor of a new-fangled smart phone – and we needed to convince her to actually use it.
At last, Mom gave in and updated her phone.
Now, we had to update Mom’s mental software so that she could enjoy her new technology. While new tech is made to be intuitive for native tech users (think Gen X and younger), it can be intimidating for older users or users who have not had a lifetime of experience with productivity apps, video games, and social media.
The first hurdle was getting her to remember to charge the phone – and to keep it with her. Neither task was as easy as you’d think. We tried putting the pill in the jelly (so to speak) by introducing her to her camera. I don’t even want to talk about getting her to use it for the internet.
We began to make progress as she discovered fun new features of her phone. For example, when you hit the little red triangle on a YouTube picture, a movie plays. This created an entirely new world for Mom. The next thing I knew she was using YouTube to install dimmer switches and fix cuckoo clocks.
As a Gen Xer, it’s easy to forget how long people in my mom’s generation have been married and how differently responsibilities were divvied up over the decades. When honey do lists were being handed out a generation back, men handled the dimmer switches and the fixing of things, while women often wound up with laundry and cooking. Technology tasks might have been considered “man’s work.”
That may have been true back then, but mom is blazing trails in technology now. She brought her YouTube experience to her grief group, and she got right down to teaching old dogs new tricks! A man who had never done laundry (and was too proud to ask for help) was able to figure it out on YouTube. Grandads who had never used the kitchen (except to microwave a Hot Pocket) were looking up new pumpkin pie recipes. It was amazing to watch.
Throughout her adventures in smart phones, my mom and I have tackled many topics that I didn’t THINK needed explaining, but isn’t that how it always is?
Something that seems familiar and even a little “duh” to one person may be Big News to someone else. We’ve all got different areas and levels of expertise. When we use our experiences and insights to bring others up to speed, we create serious influence, build trust, and, most importantly, help people get more out of life.
So what about you? How is your technology working for you? Is it up to date? Is it influencing people? Are you using it to build trust? I don’t just help moms with technology. I also help businesses get more out of their digital resources. Contact me today to schedule an appointment and learn more.
(Note: She ended up in a Messenger romance with the man who did not know how to do laundry – and they eloped on Valentine’s Day – but that is an entirely different story!)