It finally happened. The nightmare has come true. That which I always knew would happen and yet hoped never would has come to pass. My mum has discovered Whatsapp.
You always hear from your friends the horror stories involving parents figuring out various aspects of technology and the repercussions of these discoveries, but I will be honest, I never thought they would apply to me for one very good reason, my parents are truly woeful with technology. And when I say woeful I am not exaggerating, they are completely and utterly useless. I can’t count the number of times my mum has called me down from my room because she can’t work how to put on a DVD or watching Dad desperately trying to figure out how to download an episode to watch on the train the next day (“What does streaming mean?”). That being said the frustrations are easily outweighed by the hilarity of watching them hitting every cliché on the head
My mum goes for what we might call the traditional approach. Now I can guarantee that the majority of British people (and indeed the world) will recognise this particular method but for those few who have been living under a rock this past decade it goes as follows: Step One is to bang the monitor and keyboard with both fists. When this inevitably fails Step Two takes over. This is, quite simply, a repeat of Step One just injected with an escalation in violence. This is then followed by Step Three which is five minutes of swearing, which, whilst being about as helpful as yelling at a tree for not getting out of the way, does have the knock on effect of making one feel better. The final stage (and by far the most entertaining) is calling for outside help. Now to do this a password is required but if you are like us then this has inevitably been long forgotten and so we come to the bane of so many households, the security question. Don’t get me wrong, not all of these are difficult, some are even straightforward (maiden name, first pet etc) but the amount of time the whole family sits around scratching their heads as they try and figure out just what was Dad’s favourite film back in 2007 is bordering on ridiculous.
And this leads neatly into stereotype number two in the form of my Dad. Now, if I had to make just two guarantees in this world they would be as follows. 1. When a technology related problem occurs in our house Dad will back himself to fix it and 2. The attempted ‘fix’ will be an absolute, categorical failure. You see, my Dad is that person who we all know, who believes he is much better with technology then he actually is, and as such, buys various electronic toys that are always just that little bit too complicated for his level of skill. The best example I can give that epitomises this is the trial by fire the whole family goes through when he tries to download a book onto his kindle. Now, it is widely acknowledge that when it comes to kindles, Amazon are ‘the man’ and the reason for this is because they are so simple a monkey could use them. Unfortunately common knowledge and my Dad have yet to be introduced which is why he decided that the Sony Ericsson E-reader was the way forward. To this day I could not tell you how the Sony reader works but the amount of electronic appliances and length of cable required is quite extraordinary, NASA launched the MAVEN probe with less.