Old People and Technology

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for months — time to let it see the light of day.

My mother-in-law got a new car. She is really not tech savvy. I routinely have to fix her computer, her tablet, and her phone. Had to fix Facebook for her once after she accidentally set her posts private for a year and was pissed over lack of comments, and then there was the time she straight up thought Obi Wan Kenobi was Jesus on Facebook. As most of y’all probably know, many (maybe all, I dunno) new cars have infotainment systems. And guess what’s required to use this system? A basic understanding of technology!

The struggle has been real for my in-laws because of this. We were getting call after call asking about syncing, music, bluetooth, contacts, Google Voice, where Siri went (which is strange, because my MIL has never owned an iPhone or iPad that had Siri), and On-Star. I know there’s a learning curve on this stuff, and despite my teasing, I mostly don’t mind helping. (And as much as I like to joke about older people and technology, I have to ask for help on some pretty basic cooking things, so it evens out.)

Mother-in-law approached me a month or two ago to ask about the possibility of legal trouble regarding their new car. After complaining about it for a few minutes, she told me that she was worried they were going to get arrested because her husband cussed out the virtual advisor. He asked for directions, it didn’t understand him and it gave him some random answer. After that happened a few times, he let loose.

“Could he go to jail for that?” she asked me.

I can usually keep a straight face with her, but this time I couldn’t. The thought of cussing out On-Star’s version of Siri is was humorous enough, but getting arrested for it? I about pissed my pants.  I assured her that no one was monitoring those interactions (I don’t need to expose her to my paranoid brain) and that no laws had been broken.

I thought that was the end of it until I talked to her grandkids this past weekend and one of them mentioned her calling all four of them — recently, too — and asking if they were going to get arrested over this. Holy shit.