How to explain tech to your mothers in five easy steps

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The unbelievable annoyance of teaching your mum and dad how to connect to Wi-Fi can result in household slanging matches. But fear not, we are to here to help

Leo Tolstoy famously wrote: All happy families are alike; each unhappy household is unhappy in its own style. But that was before the advent of tech.

Now, household unhappiness is a stressed-out mother trying to work out how to send an emoji, and a papa repeatedly getting a Wi-Fi password wrong while his belligerent, unsympathetic adolescents lose all patience and end up screaming at him.

Technology is supposed to bring us together. Often it does. But equally often it drives us, generationally, apart. So, here is a quick guide to the handling of tech-related interfamilial discord:

1. Try to keep calm

As infuriating as it is to have to explain to ones mother, as Amy Schumer does in her hilarious sketch below, that one does not need a cord to send an email, its not worth get into a slanging match over tech frustrations. An older colleague once asked me what is Chrome? and I had to chew a piece of gum vigorously to stop my head hitting the desk. But frustration is not a good teaching tool. Keep calm. Its important to recollect some people didnt grow up on MSN messenger and emoticons.( And recollect: who is gonna pay for your new iPhone next time Apple roll one out six months after they rolled out the last one? Precisely .)

Amy Schumers Mom Computer Therapy sketch.

2. Keep it simple

Dont explain how an internet router works. Or even mention data velocities. Just wheel out the bare minimum to appease fraught mothers. Phase to the fact that the ethernet cable is hanging out of the box and thats why online isnt running. Dont throw phrases like soft reset around when your grandpas phone crashes just tell him which buttons to press.

3. Accept that tech words and phrases will be butchered

The will be added to the name of every social media platform. The Facebook( its original name, to be fair ). The Twitter. The Snapchat. People do not tweet; they twitter. The internet will be interchangeable with the web.

SMS messages will be sent , not texts. Dont even attempt to explain the difference between emoticons and emoji. Theres no point correcting older folks on this how often do you pay attention when a parent corrects grammar? Just let them call tech whatever builds them comfortable. Its kinda cute. Infuriating, but cute.

4. Explain the importance of privacy

Its likely a good notion to explain that password1 23 isnt great for maintaining hackers out. Nor is password1 24 to fool them . Gently let your mum know that the cats name also isnt a wonderful password when 99% of her Facebook is just pictures of her and the cat and she set up a separate Facebook profile for it. Also, an email from HbsC is probably not actually from the bank. -_() _ /-

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Best to keep it simple when explaining privacy Photograph: Alan Rusbridger for the Guardian

5. Let it go

The discrepancies between Android and iOS. What Android and iOS actually are. What a gif is. How to pronounce gif. Sometimes one must admit defeat. It has taken nearly two years for your parents to work out what all the buttons on the Sky remote do, and then you reach them with third-party apps and the concept of airliner mode. Its too much. Let them live. Its not worth it. These people created you: does it genuinely matter if they are never going to grasp what a meme is?

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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