Technophobia

Sky TV Remote Control

As someone who revels in technology I wonder if I’ll ever get to the stage of not understanding it. I currently class myself as being quite savvy even when compared to some of the younger generation but definitely compared to the older generation and my mum in particular (this is just one of several posts I’ll probably make about her abilities with all things electronic).

I now know how frustrating it must be for some of the ‘helpline’ staff who have to aid consumers who are stuck with technology issues having been party first hand to trying to talk my mother through an issue she recently had.

She rang me because her Sky TV wasn’t showing a picture, just had the sound on; but as she told me “it had been working a couple of hours earlier with no problems”. She was desperate to watch the live cricket (which as per a previous post I made you may realise is something I believe to be an oxymoron)

I asked had she moved the TV unit when dusting as it may just be that the SCART lead may have come slightly dislodged – that’s when the real problems started…”what’s a SCART lead?” Now imagine trying to describe a SCART lead over the phone…”.

I tried suggesting everything…unplugging the system from the wall socket, un-doing then re-attaching the satellite feed leads etc etc. All of these required me to describe in full details what the object looked like and how to do it. I even had to download the instructions for the TV and satellite so I knew what her remote controls looked like to enable me to direct her towards the buttons I needed her to press. No matter what sequences we tried nothing seemed to fix the issue.

I was online going through every fault finding guide step I could find then relaying this action to my mum. After an hour and a quarter we were no closer to the solution – I was losing my will to live and my mum was complaining about missing the cricket.

I was so confused now myself with what had been done or not done I took a breath and said “right mum, let’s go through this once more from the beginning…what is happening, or not happening ?”

“I can hear sound but no picture” she said but then added “there’s just a message on the screen saying replace the handset batteries then press back up”

Aaaargh !

“Has this just come up ?” I asked through gritted teeth. “No”, she replied, “but I didn’t mention it earlier as I’d already done that”

Calmly despite my inward frustration I asked her to open the remote and check the batteries…are they in the right way round?…yes there is a right and a wrong way to put in batteries….

Ok do you want to press back up now…

“It’s working” she said “I can see and hear everything perfectly – hang on a second looks like Strauss has just been given L.B.W.”

And with that she put the phone down !

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About Rob

If you want to know more about what goes on in the chemical soup that I call a brain then have a trawl through my blog where my life to a degree is unveiled. Enjoy my life - I'm trying to. Rob
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12 Responses to Technophobia

  1. I’m sorry you get so frustrated with us when we can’t understand! Poor Mum, and Strauss LBW at the end of it all – why couldn’t you have solved the problem sooner?
    lol

    • Rob says:

      Just one in a series of her technological mishaps through the years… I guess I should be used to it by now. Rather than get frustrated at my own inability to articulate the answer maybe I should just tell her to call an engineer – at least they are paid to get frustrated πŸ™‚

  2. lemontree1 says:

    I realy enjoyed reading this, I can identify my own mum πŸ˜‰ I begin to think every mum is like this, which means I will be like this in 40 years πŸ˜€

    • Rob says:

      Ha ha.
      My own biggest fear (or one of them) is I become a technophobe too – can just imagine my own son tweeting (or whatever is the norm in years to come) about me – what goes around comes around as the saying goes πŸ™‚

      • lemontree1 says:

        I’m sure we will become technophobes πŸ˜€ who knows what they’ll do in 30 years πŸ˜€

  3. Eleenie says:

    Oh dear, I sympathise, I have a mum who is just the same. In the past, I’ve ensured that she is stood next to me when showing her how to work her satellite system, I’ve written notes, made diagrams and gone through the instruction manual with her but to no avail. It’s possible that in a few years time my son will be following suit by ‘losing it’ with me. I just hope that doesn’t happen, if I lost the ability to operate the remote control then how could I watch Eurovision? πŸ˜‰

  4. SynthesistChronicles says:

    I completely relate! I have a whole family of technophobes. I cannot count the times that I’ve been called and asked where a particular setting is located on my mother or sister’s PC even though I own a Mac. It is seriously difficult to remember how to walk someone through to a screen that you haven’t actually looked at in several years. Google has been a lifesaver.

  5. Pingback: Technophobia? « Synthesist Chronicles

  6. My personal feeling about old folk is they make a decision to stop learning–an actual conscious decision. I’ve seen it with my own mother and very recently with my stepdad. I give you great credit for dealing with her tv issue with kindness and for delving deeply into help faqs, too. I’m far less patient/nice!!!

    • Rob says:

      I don’t know about stopping learning – it’s almost as if she never started πŸ™‚ And as for patience – I think it was only the child/maternal bond that stopped me from putting the phone down myself – patience isn’t one of my better virtues (in fact I don’t know what my virtues actually are)!

  7. Pingback: So where exactly does the paper go ? | My Secret Garden

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