Teaching Grandparents How to use Technology

The real question is, where is the actual window? / Photographer: Eve Eon

GRANDMA Hi, Sarah. Thank you for coming over to help me with all of this technology. It all  starts to get a little confusing when you get to be my age. 

SARAH Don’t worry about it, Grandma. This shouldn’t take too long. It’s not that difficult to understand once you get the hang of it. 

GRANDMA Okay, great. So what do I do first? 

SARAH Okay, first you are going to want to open up a window. 

GRANDMA A window? 

SARAH Yeah, a window. 

GRANDMA I’m not really sure what an open window has to do with anything, but okay. 

SARAH Grandma, what are you doing? Why did you get up from your chair? 

GRANDMA I went to go open a window, Sarah, like you told me to. 

SARAH No, Grandma, a window on your computer. 

GRANDMA A window on my computer? Since when? 

SARAH Yes on your computer and since always. That’s how you get to the internet.

GRANDMA Yes, I want to get to the internet. How do I do that? 

SARAH You open a window. 

GRANDMA For fresh air? 

SARAH No a window on your computer. Just press that red, yellow, green and blue circle at the bottom of your computer screen

GRANDMA Okay, okay. I pressed the button. What do I do now?

SARAH Well, I know that Mom, and I were talking to you before about teaching you how to do a video call on here.

GRANDMA Oh, yes. How do I do that?

SARAH Do you see that 3×3 grid at the top right of your screen? It’s next to your profile picture?

GRANDMA Yes, I do. Do I click it?

SARAH Yes, you click it and then look for meet.


SARAH Yes, meet.

GRANDMA Why would I be looking for meat, when I’m trying to do a video call?

SARAH Because that is what it is called.

GRANDMA Shouldn’t it be in the refrigerator or the freezer or something? SARAH No! Not meat, meet.

GRANDMA Sarah, I hear absolutely no difference in anything that you are saying.

SARAH M-e-e-t, not m-e-a-t.

GRANDMA Oh, like I’m going to go meet someone for coffee.

SARAH Yes, exactly

GRANDMA But Sarah?


GRANDMA I’m not actually meeting someone, I’m trying to do a video call.

SARAH I know, Grandma. This is what the video chat service is called.

GRANDMA Okay, but I still don’t get it.

SARAH Okay, then let’s just move on to something else. Do you know how to work docs?

GRANDMA I did work on the docks when I was younger. It was a pretty fun summer job.

SARAH No, Grandma, docs, like Google docs. Google documents. Where you type things.

GRANDMA Oh yeah, documents. Your brother already taught me how to use that when he was here last week. He was able to explain it to me in just about a minute.

SARAH Jacob already explained this to you? Why didn’t he explain anything else?

GRANDMA Well he showed me documents first and then he tried to go on to explain how to change the sheets, and I told him that I can change the sheets with my eyes closed. He told me to go for it, so I went to my closet, grabbed a fresh pair of sheets, walked into my bedroom, closed my eyes, switched the sheets, and when I came back out, he was gone. I just figured that he had somewhere else to be.

SARAH Oh, Grandma.

GRANDMA What sweetie?

SARAH This is going to be a lot harder than I thought. Let’s just start over. GRANDMA Okay, we can do that.

SARAH Okay, so close the window.

GRANDMA But Sarah, I never opened the window. You stopped me right after I got out of my seat.

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