The Internet can open the door to a whole new world. But getting your parents or a senior online can be a tall order. Find out different ways to get your parents online like taking computer classes or showing them how to use their new laptop.
How Do I Get My Parents Online?
The Internet has been a great tool for the masses, creating opportunities for businesses and social networking as well as entertainment. No matter what your question, you can find the answer with a few short clicks. You can buy and sell goods, find a mate, meditate on words of wisdom, share photos, pay bills and much more.
But despite your interest in the Internet, how do you get your parents excited about these features? Before you plop a PC on your parent's lap, here are some things to consider:
- Personality-if your parents are introverted, they may not be attracted to social networking. Don't try to sell them on these aspects. In addition, many older adults resist
technology as they are accustomed to routine and not convinced "newfangled" devices could serve them.
- Price-if you plan to purchase your parent's PC, then price may not be so significant. However, if you'd like to encourage them to buy their own, look for the best buys and fewest features. They can always upgrade later and it may be easier for them to accept a smaller price tag.
Show and Tell
Rather than making a list of all the compelling reasons for purchasing a computer, you may want to show your parents. Select some websites or games they might enjoy and help them navigate. Then show them how you track finances, share photos, e-mail friends and search for information. Another attractive feature is Skype, a free video calling service. To download the service is free, but your parents will need a webcam, which usually costs $30. When they get a chance to see friends and relatives far away, they might want to pick up more computer skills.Remember not to overwhelm them. Skimming through the basics should be sufficient. If at the end of your lesson, they are still hesitant, consider classes.
Perhaps you aren't the best teacher, or you are at a loss as to how to begin teaching your parents how to get online. You may want to sign them up for a formal lesson. Look for inexpensive or free opportunities at a senior center. Community colleges or universities may offer lessons in computer education. You might also consider taking the course with your parents or going alone, as you might find it useful to see how the teacher introduces the lesson and interacts with the students. This may give you the confidence to become a better teacher.
If your parents are comfortable in the library, you may get them online there-even if no classes are available. Talk to a helpful librarian and ask for advice.
While those who have surfed the Web and exploited the advantages of technology may not understand how anyone could live without a computer, at some point you may have to accept your parent's opposition to it. If you have employed every tactic to get your parents online, without success, try revisiting the discussion later.