Specifically the iPhone 7.
Jack’s Grandpa, my dad, is not computer literate and up until about 2 weeks ago had a push-button flip phone. His idea of technology is the ATM machine which he still uses with the help of the bank manager at his local TD branch. He knows the manager by name, naturally, and all the tellers know him.
I got my dad a cell phone a few years back for the simple reason of safety and updates, since I live in CT and he lives in MA. I found a very cheap and very reliable service through Net10, and literally paid $16 per month for him to have cell service. Boy did he struggle with that cell phone. He didn’t know the difference between the green send button and the red hang up button (mostly because he’s red/green colorblind LOL), because he wouldn’t ever put his glasses on and was guessing at which button to push.
Over the months he learned to successfully send and receive calls, but still preferred to talk to people via the wall-mounted kitchen phone, which thankfully had been updated at one point from the original yellow rotary phone. And that was probably the first and only upgrade it got.
We (ok “I”) recently decided that it was time for him to have an iPhone for the simple fact that he could Facetime with all the grand kids and even with the very first GREAT grand kid. If I had known the trauma I would have to endure to simply get him to make a call on this phone (which now he will only do via Siri), I would have opted to upgrade him to a newer push-button phone, albeit with bigger buttons. Sigh. I was trying to help.
Jack: Grandpa Face-timed me today.
me: What?? Really? OMG, how!
Jack: He figured it out I guess. But when I answered, he asked ME why I was calling HIM!
me: He dialed you by mistake?
Jack: I don’t know… he had no clue what was happening or why I could even see him.
me: Well he must have butt dialed you, but that’s so weird! I had showed him how to Facetime before so he knows what that is.
Jack: He was walking to the store and was very confused.
TWO WEEKS EARLIER:
me: Dad, so you have to turn the phone ON before you use it and enter your passcode.
Dad: This button?
me: Call that the “Home” button from now on so we are saying the same thing.
Dad: Now what? I just push the numbers in?
me: Yes, the ones we set up for you. Push them now.
Dad: Okay, now what?
me: Now you’re on the HOME screen. See the little phone at the bottom?
Dad: The bottom of what? I’m holding the phone.
me: No, the little green (sigh) I mean the phone receiver icon at the bottom.
Dad: What’s an icon?
me: Seriously? The picture! Of the phone! At the bottom…
Dad: Ok, so what do I do?
me: Just touch the phone icon and then you can start to make calls.
Dad: Do I have to enter my secret code again here?
me: No, that’s the keypad like on a phone. I mean it IS a phone key pad, sigh, you now can dial someone’s number. When the numbers are dark, you enter your passcode, when they are white, you’re in the phone keypad. Try to dial my cell phone and I’ll test it with you right now.
Dad: (presses one number for like 5 seconds). It’s not working. I got an “edit” message.
me: Sigh… no it’s a TOUCH screen so just gently touch it. (I wait). No a little harder than that but not more than a split second.
(He punches in my phone number, supposedly.)
Dad: Now what?
me: After you punch in the numbers, hit the green phone icon.
Dad: Again? How many times do I need to hit that button before I can make a call?? On the old phone you just pick up and dial. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier. I hit that button already three times!
me: Just. Hit. The, Button.
Dad: I have to dial the area code?
me: Yes. Always.
Dad: Even for local calls?
me: Yes, because you’re not… Ugh, just yes. Always.
Dad: Ok, hold on. Is it ringing? (I just stare at him) It’s not working.
me: Gimme, let me see.
Dad: Maybe Jack should help me. He would start with the basics, you’re all over the place.
me: I’m teaching you to dial a simple phone call. This IS the basics.
Dad: Well you’re not very good at it.
me: Oh, look, you made a typo in my phone number. (I pause). Do NOT ask me what a typo is. Technology doesn’t remove the English language from your brain.
Dad: Well I don’t have my glasses on!
me: Well… get your glasses on!
(I wait… and wait.)
me: Where’d you go??
Dad: Ok, I couldn’t see the glasses…it took me a minute…now I can see. What do I push again? The screen went back to black.
me: Sigh. Enter your passcode.
Dad: Didn’t I already do that?
TWO WEEKS LATER, AFTER THE RANDOM FACETIME CALL TO JACK
me: That was so funny how Grandpa called you. I was dying! He has no clue still after 7 hours of me teaching him and writing stuff down for him to follow.
Jack: Mom, you should let me teach him. I would start with the basics.
(OMG Jack sounds just like my dad!!!)
And, I’m exhausted just typing a portion of this story for you to read. If you repeat the top back and forth, oh about 25 more times, throw in some F-bombs from me (and I don’t swear in front of my dad), you’ll sort of be where I am right now.
TWO DAYS AGO:
me: (grabbing my cell) Hello?
Dad: Hey I made a call!
me: Wow, so you figured out the difference between a keypad and the passcode?
Dad: No, I just use Siri and it calls you.
Dad: Hey, so if I ask it a question do I always have to say Hey Siri, or can I just keep asking questions?
me: It’s not a companion, it’s a computer. Sigh.
Dad: So… that’s a yes??
Please send wine.