How I taught my grandparents to use an iPhone

How I taught my grandparents to use an iPhone

Julia Vastano, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

I would like to start by saying my grandparents are the most wonderful people and I love them dearly. However…

Within the past year both of my grandparents switched from flip phones to iPhones. For some strange reason both of them regard me as a technology goddess (I barely know how to download apps), and required my mentoring them in the somewhat exciting life of an iPhone user.

My grandma first got the iPhone 4s. The first thing she, as an oldish person, naturally wanted to learn was how to make a phone call. It took me quite a while to explain this, and no I’m not kidding. Did you know it takes a minimum of eight key strokes just to phone someone!? This is without entering their contact name and phone number. This is a lot to take in for those who don’t know technology, and it resulted in my nana writing down steps with a pen and paper.

I then helped her disable her ability to text message (that would have been terrifying to explain), and sent her on her way to copy all the numbers from her ACTUAL ADDRESS BOOK (yes, I’m talking about a paper book, people).

My grandpa was (and never will be) quite as easy.

First off, something I learned is that many older people don’t think ugly or silly selfies are funny. My grandfather was somewhat disgusted and mostly upset when I set my contact image as me with crossed eyes and a double chin.

Another challenge with my papa was teaching him how to type with his thumbs. When he was growing up they had like these typewriter things, that you typed with your index fingers on. This lesson included enlightening him of the fact that no matter how hard you press on the screen, the button will do the same thing. Keyboards are difficult.

Something that both of my grandparents don’t understand is that just because they have a cell phone, and I have a cell phone, doesn’t mean they should call me during school. Sometimes I will accumulate multiple missed calls during class from them. It’s hard because I feel guilty not answering even when I have a huge WHAP test coming up!

Another idea that shocked both of them was FaceTiming. With its Star-Wars like features, it amazed them. This is also somewhat unfortunate, because now they want to FaceTime, all the time.

This was quite the adventure with my grandparents and I am glad I could have helped them. However, from experience, I want to warn everyone to be cautious and patient around any elderly who happens to lack in their technology skills, for both your and their sake.