By Charlotte Latvala
We all know the stereotype: Middle-aged man or woman staring in utter confusion at a screen, unable to decipher the gizmo without an eye-rolling teenager to help.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead and laugh, kids – but Steve Jobs was from our generation. Stick that in your USB port.
Nevertheless, there are days when the ever-changing world of technology feels rather…befuddling. Here’s how to quell that nagging sense that the rest of the world is moving on without you:
- Banish the words “doo-hickey,” “whatsit,” and “pointer thingy” from your vocabulary.
- Master one item. One. Preferably something easy, like an iPhone. (Bonus points for knowing which model iPhone you have, and reminding people by loudly asking “Does anyone have a charger for a 6s?”)
- Practice saying “Sorry, my Wi-Fi is down.” You can mask a sea of incompetence with those five words. (“I must have a virus!” is a close second.)
- Know your limits. Here at How to be 50, we have a television remote the size of a smart car. A hundred buttons do everything but fly the thing. Early on, we determined that we would never, ever be able to figure it out, and we graciously accepted defeat.
- Look to the young. The accepted wisdom is that teenagers are the go-to tech experts. Nonsense. Small children are better, because they are tech-savvy without the condescending attitude.
- Laugh at yourself. Whether you butt-dialed your spouse for the tenth time or inadvertently filmed the inside of your purse – publicize your mistakes before others get the chance.
- When called upon to operate technology in public (say, you’re put in charge of the GPS on a family car ride), develop a sudden allergy, eye spasm, or coughing fit.
- Proclaim, in a grandiose manner, that no technology in the world can ever take the place of human contact, and then give everyone around you a hug. No one – absolutely no one – can argue with you! Especially if your Wi-Fi is down.