What it’s like living with technologically challenged parents

My Mum just got an iPhone.

My parents are not great with technology. They never have been. This new iPhone purchase has catapulted my Mum into the 21st century and I am absolutely loving it. She even sent me a selfie.

She’s doing much better than my Dad. We’ve given up on my Dad, in every sense of the word. He has a mobile phone that he’s had for some time now and he keeps it turned off in a drawer. It’s in blue plastic box with a collection of 2 pence coins and a mechanical torch that for some reason is a penguin. The phone is never turned on. The phone is never charged. He doesn’t know his mobile phone number. He doesn’t know how to make calls.

I don’t know why he has one.

He recently attempted to send his first ever text message. The message was all in CAPS, obviously. He couldn’t find the space button so opted for a full stop to separate each word. The message read like this:


Looks like a text message that a serial killer would send.

He’s much better on the landline. Saying that, anytime a phone rings on a TV show he thinks his house phone is ringing. Even if the phone sounds nothing like his house phone.

The house phone at my parents house was found in a skip about 5 years ago. My Dad came home one day with a huge grin on his face clutching a set of two cordless phones that had clearly been thrown away. ‘Can you believe someone has just thrown these away?’ he said with a genuine look of disbelief. The phones are still working to this day. They go very crackly if you move away from the charger more than about 30cm. They are the worst cordless phone ever. Ask my Dad about them and he’ll of course tell you they are ‘perfectly fine’.

My Mum’s iPhone is in a flip case, of course. Is she even really your Mum if she doesn’t have a flip case? She’s also purchased a stylus.

She’s gone full Mum on the iPhone.

It’s been good to get a message from her that is longer than one word. Her pre-iPhone texts where always very short, mainly because she couldn’t really use her old phone. It’s hard not reading a one-word response without feeling like the person hates you.

Sounds like she hates me, she doesn’t. She really likes me. I got an iMessage from her yesterday that was full of emojis and even had lots of words. Now I can read a text from her without thinking she wants to kill me.

I will leave you with a picture my Dad took of me and my Mum on a beach:

He just managed to get my shorts in. Spectacular. He’s never been great at taking pictures. Turned out much better than the picture he took at a family birthday party which later turned out to be a picture of his eyeball.

So here’s to parents giving technology a bloody good go. So they might get it wrong sometimes. So they’ve forgotten their password again even though you helped them reset it yesterday. So they’ve not turned their phone on for months and it’s kept in a drawer with a penguin torch.

We forgive you.

Keep trying, you’ll get there. If all else fails just turn it off and on again.