The Family Tech Expert is a new commercial for Staples Windows 8 Tutorials that had me ROFL. It hit home for me, as I’m sure it is for those of you who are seeing it here for the first time, because it captures how extremely frustrating it is to be the “The Family Tech Expert”. For the Gen X and Gen Y’s, we’ve become the “go to” person for our parents tech questions. And well, it can be quite annoying. To be honest, there are times when my mom has (even more) questions about Twitter and Facebook, and I would much rather respond with a simple “nope” (like the ad), then take the time to help her.
But cooler heads must prevail, after all, our parents put up with all of our questions about the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. You may not remember (and I’m sure if you ask, they’ll remind you), but when you were a toddler, developing your language skill, and trying to grasp an understanding of the world you asked your parents “WHY” about 100 times a day. So now the shoe is on the other foot; your parents are developing their tech skills and trying to grasp an understanding of the ever changing world of technology. So while it may be annoying, here are some strategies to fielding parents tech questions with patience:
1. Be honest, if it isn’t a good time, let them know and set up a better time to help them out. Often it’s the interruption that causes frustration.
2. Remember, “tech” is not their first language so use words and terminology they are familiar with so they can follow you.
3. Empower them to be self-directed. Make them aware of demo’s and video tutorials, and other resources you have used (Don’t just tell them to Google it, they won’t).
4. Respect the fact that they have come to YOU. After all, asking for your help is an acknowledgement of the skills and expertise you have. Isn’t that what we want from our parents anyway? Acknowledgement.
5. Breath. And remember all of the things they’ve done for you.