Was The Computer Gift to Your Parents a Blessing or a Curse?

You live far from your parents or grandparents and you gave them a computer. You thought it would be a great idea to get them a computer so you can communicate with them easier. You know what I am talking about; Facebook, Skype, or email. You saw them over the holidays and gave them a computer. Heck you set it up for them, you showed them how to use it, and everything worked fine when you were there. What happened when you left? They forgot how to use the communications applications you set them up with, and it became too much of a hassle for them. You may have called them to set up a video call on Skype, so they can see their children or grandchildren, and it no longer works. They will not bother to call you because they know how busy you are to be fixing their computer issues. From a distance can you really step them through how to make it work? Will suggesting a computer repair company fix the solution? They will have to pack up their computer and haul it in for service. TOO MUCH HASSLE!

Truth is you bought them a computer with internet access. This is the story I have seen far too many times. When you left, after presenting the gift and setting it all up, they went to explore all the features you showed them on the information rich world wide web. They surfed the web like we all do but they do not know about the pitfalls that being online can induce. That Facebook account you set them up with led them to a website that was bad and they downloaded bad stuff on their computer. They got an email from their friend that had a link in it that they clicked on that caused harm to their computer.

Let’s be a little compassionate here. They did not browse to these links with the intention of going to a place that would cause harm. They just did not understand the risks of being online, much like you know. You cannot tell them to NOT click on stuff it is human nature to do it. I have gone down this rabbit hole myself, with severe consequences.

Look your intentions were great. We are dealing with the human characteristic of curiosity. Are you ready to deal with the consequences of your gift? Like they say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” Your parents or grandparents do not want to bother you, yet you want to communicate with them using the computer you gave them and set up. That darn computer ran fine the day you left.

Let’s be real. You set them up with a fine new computer and a fast Internet connection when you left, it all worked. You may know that a computer requires some maintenance like your car, but do they? You only had two weeks to show them all the neatness of being online with a new computer and the powerful communications platform it represents. Did you have the time to show them the computer hygiene skills you know in maintaining the computer? Did you show them a disk clean-up, a disk defragment, a check disk? How about clearing their browsers cache? Overtime these maintenance key words mentioned need to be done to keep your parents or grandparents machine working like they are supposed to. These keywords are a few of the maintenance items that they can do on their own that would definitely make their experience with computers better. It is a whole lot easier to direct them to a link that shows them how to perform regular maintenance, than try to step them through each procedure over the phone.

Not having to contact you with every issue they have with their computer would be an anvil off their chest, e.g. I do not have to bother my son or daughter with helping me through an issue. Going to an easy to follow link would be a stress reliever for you because you do not have to try to help them over the phone.

[http://www.cramme.net] has simple and easy to follow tutorials that anyone, including your parents and grandparents, can follow that shows exactly how to perform normal computer hygiene. These tutorials will free up your time from trying to help them over the phone. This will empower your parents or grandparents. They do not have to call you when “Skype” or email will not work.

Steven Grabiel is not a computer repair guru. He is a computer networking guy who has seen several thousand computers on his network that are in desperate need of common computer hygiene.

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