Updated: Aug 27, 2020
A while back, my mom (Joanne) sent me some tips to share with readers who want a parent to try new tech. She reminds us that good intentions and great tech, no matter how useful, will go ignored if we don't remember the guiding principles from her email below. Feel free to share this with your kids to give them a few pointers. If you're one of the kids, consider downloading the quick cheat sheet as a reminder!
I really do think all those wonderful well-meanings sons and daughters need to hear this. Please share these tips with your readers if they want their parents to actually try using tech! We know they mean well, but sometimes, it all gets overwhelming. 1st. Ask us if we want it. If we haven't bought into the idea, we won't use it!
What problem does it solve? What's involved?
Give concrete examples of how it can improve our life or safety.
Tell us the cost (it helps to compare to other options).
Tell us how much time we'll have to return it (takes the pressure off).
Ask if we're open to trying it out.
2nd. Go slow when you show us how to use it. Keep it short!
Only tell us what we must know to make it work when you're not around. After 15-30 minutes, it gets tiring, sometimes overwhelming, and people like me will shut down.
Demonstrate just one feature (unless we ask to do more).
Let us practice that one feature several times!
If there's another great feature, let us know but avoid detail. We'll ask for more detail if we're ready to learn more.
3rd Give us a cheat sheet!
Put the directions in writing for when you are gone. We like written lists.
First...what do I do to get started.
What's the password (if needed)
Steps to remember (the main activity)
Other important info to know (ex. Recharge at night, basic trouble shooting)
If you can get us to write it down ourselves, we're even more likely to follow in the future.
4th Plan to visit a few times. We need to hear the instructions more than once!
We usually need practice and reminders for a while - even for the easy stuff. If we run into a problem, we'll simply stop using it until your next visit when you can show us what to do. Quick over the phone help can also work if it's something easy.
Oh...one final note. Expect someone like me to interrupt you when you're showing me what to do! Please be patient and don't get upset. We interrupt because we're afraid we'll forgot what we wanted to say. Until the question is answered, we're not ready to move on so we won't hear anything that's being said. If you answer our questions right away, we can then focus on what you need to show us. On behalf of parents everywhere, thank you for you your patience. LOL (Lots of Love)
PS. I have one more tip to add.
Prepare as much as possible before sitting down together to set up something new.
When the process takes too long the experience becomes negative. Mom much prefers it when I figure out what's needed first so she doesn't have to watch me figure it out. She tells me its exhausting and makes it all look too difficult!
If it does start to take too long, consider taking a break after it's been set-up. Come back later to demonstrate how to use it and to practice. Wishing you all the best,
This post has been republished due to popular request.