I’ve always gotten rhe impression that my parents who are considered the baby boomers grew up using pen and pencil, land line telephones, relying on their friends for recommendations or using the good old fashioned yellow pages to find a solution to their needs. When computers made its way around into my family, I was one of the lucky kids to have daddy bring home a cool Macintosh 128K and a IBM 5150 that I can play around with. At the time, my dad used it to word process and I used it to play Tetris on the Macintosh and Battle Chess on the IBM. From this experience, I grew up with a preconceived notion that my parents used electronics to do boring adult stuff whilst I used them for fun and entertainment.
Great for Tetris!
Great for Battle Chess!
When the internet came around in the 90s, I was in my early teens. My dad continued to do boring adult stuff on the computer and I was already spending countless hours chatting and building up a huge buddy list on AOL (a/s/l?), AIM, ICQ, and MIRC. I can’t begin telling you how many free AOL disks I went through. I’ve always associated my Generation, Generation Y, to be the most influential and populous group next to the baby boomers. I don’t know what it is, but our generation just likes to talk using computers.
Need More FREE DISKS!
Fast forward to today, we now have what we dub social media. If you’re reading this you probably know what social media is, but do your parents? What about your grand parents?
“Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.” – Wikipedia.org
Recently, my parents have been asking me things the past few recent years.
Here are some of their questions:
- I need better coupons! Do you know where to find them?
- I need more investment tips! How do I subscribe to receive financial advice?
- What’s a good digital camera?
- I need a dinner reservation. Can you make one for me?
I’m usually happy to assist them with their questions, but sometimes….you know how parents are.
To answer their questions I’ll go to Slickdeals or Groupon to get coupons and discounts. I’ll go to Twitter and follow well known finance advisers for investment tips. I’ll go to Newegg for electronic product reviews or digital camera forum communities to ask any questions. I’ll go to Open Table to make a dinner reservation.
What I’ve realized is my parents will actually find these social media outlets USEFUL if they just knew about it. The problem is, they have always associated technology with doing boring adult stuff. My generation have always associated technology as fun and entertainment. Finding, reading, researching, talking, or basically doing anything on the internet comes naturally to the younger generations and we actually enjoy doing it. On the other hand, the older people don’t enjoy it, so they avoid it. My advice? Help them out. Show them it’s not just doing taxes on a computer anymore. Show them that social media is fun! Eventually, you’ll get a lot less questions. They might even teach you a thing or two.
What do you think? Do you think your parents need social media? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.