Sisyphus’ Struggle: Helping Old Folks with Technology

Henry Adams, Writer

I’m sure that, as a tech-savvy internet teen of the 21st century, you’ve all had to deal with the dreaded words: “[YOUR NAME], CAN YOU COME DOWN HERE? THE [COMPUTER, IPAD, TV, ETC.] ISN’T WORKING.” There’s nothing you can do but interrupt whatever vitally important activity that you’re engaged in and slowly traipse downstairs, dreading the mundane tech support issue that you’ll undoubtedly be saddled with yet again. The issue of helping technologically-impaired adults is one that almost every kid will face, and one that we all must learn to deal with.

There are three main types of parent. The first, and most common, is the kind that tries to meddle in your attempts to fix the issue. They lean over your shoulder, calling out suggestions as if they were watching a football game on the now non-functional TV. There exists an even worse subtype of this parent, the one who will try to fix the device themselves and almost inevitably screw it up. This type of parent, while well-meaning, can quickly get on your nerves. The second type is one who quietly accepts your rule in the domain of technology. They give you your space, only interrupting to see if they can help by bringing snacks. The third type are those who actually know what they’re doing, and can rectify whatever problems they somehow created. Old people like this are few and far between, and if you have any parents or old folks in your life like this, I want you to put this article down right now and personally thank them for being technologically literate.

Of course, being the hormone-ridden and distracted teenager that you are, you might not be familiar with the uninstallation of the latest edition of Ask Toolbar Pro for Internet Explorer. However, also being the good, loving child that you are, you’ll try your best, slaving away in order to help your poor, old parents. ALERT: If you’ve done this, it’s already too late. You are to be held accountable for any future problems with the computer, even if the problem is entirely unrelated to the issue that you fixed. You must retreat back to your godforsaken cave, scavenging for food in constant fear of the age-old, cacophonous calls once again echoing up the windy expanses of the staircase: “THE PRINTER ISN’T WORKING AGAIN.”

Luckily, there is a light at the end of this proverbial tunnel. You can turn the long, boring hours toiling in the dungeon of the family office into a soft dull glow of complete spiritual deflation by asking the old folks in your life to help you with Old Things!

Old Things are things from the ancient past, things that hold no relevance to modern life, such as Betamax, typewriters or underwear. The complete lack of screens and digital input can leave even the hippest of internet teens helpless, which is why we must rely on the old folks to help, creating a nauseating self-actualizing circle of technological ineptitude.