I’m really enjoying living close to my parents again and being able to see them more often. Dad is now taking advantage of the fact that I am close by and gets me to help him with his day-to-day ‘electronic difficulties’. This can cover anything from making sure his television is connected properly after he has played around with it and messed it up, making sure his new phone is working after he has played around with it and messed that up, too, and ringing utility companies when something goes completely wrong and Dad has tried to fix it and it becomes yet again even more messed up.
Just recently Dad decided that he wanted to enter the world of cyberspace. We all cringed but we went with it. Everybody else was doing it, apparently, so he wanted to do it, too. Mum says that if everybody went out and bought a pink elephant in a purple tutu for no apparent reason he would want one, too, even though he didn’t quite know why.
He wanted a tablet because my uncle had a tablet and wouldn’t stop raving about it. I wish my uncle would stop raving about stuff because the last thing he raved about was a coffee maker and Dad bought one even though he doesn’t drink coffee.
I had a look around and decided that the best tablet for the money by comparison and quality was the Apple iPad. I couldn’t get Dad down to the store fast enough as he wanted to get his hands on one and start pressing the buttons. I explained to Dad that to have the iPad connected to the Internet he would also have to have an Internet connection established as well. I naturally got the job of Internet organiser and it was an agonising wait of 24 hours after he purchased his iPad before I could set up the Internet.
My father is not technically savvy but he did his best to learn and was amazed when I downloaded a few game apps like solitaire and jigsaw puzzles. The irony was not lost on me that Dad had just paid five hundred dollars to play Solitaire and do a few jigsaw puzzles when he had a perfectly good five dollar pack of cards and some good jigsaw puzzles which would have cost him around thirty dollars. I have also taught him to explore the world using Google Earth and he’s been everywhere from the pyramids in Egypt to his old house as a kid.
My dad may not be technically minded but he is having a darn good time tapping away and feeling like he has one up on most of his retired jigsaw genius, card playing, travelled friends.
And it’s not a complete loss, of course. When Dad finally gets sick of it and moves onto a computer or back to his cards I may be the new owner of the almost-new Apple iPad. I may have to fight my son for it, however, as he apparently doesn’t have one of those in his more technically-savvy-than-me arsenal.