Friday, September 27, 2013

Filipino Parents ... and Technology

It's one thing having to explain current technology to an older person.  It's another thing having to explain technology an older Filipino person.

... Like my dad.

Of course, I don't claim to be a tech-genius or anything. I mean, I've had my S3 for about a year and I still find myself struggling with it's functions.

Husband: You know your phone can do fingerprint scanning, right?
Me: What? no waaay!

Perhaps that puts me in the same category of those technologically challenged old people who I am venting about (in which case - that would make me a hypocrite) But at least I can turn the tv on  -which seriously, with all the buttons and remotes that you end up having - I think turning on the television can be considered a win, although some people (like my husband) would argue that while I may have turned the television on, per se, I may not have turned it on correctly because I inadvertently may have turned the sound system off in the process of turning the tele on. 

But enough about me and my lack of technological savoir (sp* French for savvyness? I'm  trying to sound high cultured, but I don't know if it's working). At least once a month, my dad calls me up like I'm some sort of IT specialist, and asks me how to do random stuff that - I think - are basic things a person of the 21st Century should understand or be able to figure out: like how to change a ringtone, how to change a font, how to open a webpage....

Some previous personal inquiries:

Win, win, win, WIN! - (me: yea) what time is the Seahawk game? 

Win, win, win, WIN!  -(me:  mmmm) - how come when I dial your number, your picture shows up, but when your brother calls - there's no picture?

Win... win, win, WIN! - (me: yea?) how come the DVD player is not working? 

A lot of times, I'm like, I don't know dad - I don't know what you did, I'd have to be to fix there.

Occassionaly, I feel inclined to help him troubleshoot his problems, but immediately regret it when I'm having to repeat myself a bunch of times.

A recent call made to me:

Dad: Win, win, WIN! how to I log into my email
Me: What's your email providor?
Dad: What? 
Me: What's you're email provider? Where do you get your email? ahoo? Gmail?
Dad: Oh.. oh .. Yahoo
Me: Ok.. what's you're email address?
Dad: Ano? HuH? 
Me: Email Address - you know - where you get your emails
Dad: oh..
Me: okay - put your email address in the space that says 'yahoo id'
Dad: ano?
Dad: oh... wait .. wait. .wait a minute.. yahooo id..
Me: Dad.. it says 'yahoo id'

At this point I'm talking loudly so that other people in the office can hear me and I begin to remember why 99% of the time I try not to take his troubleshooting calls at work.  During one conversation where I was trying to walk my dad through something,  a coworker was like are you talking with the dry cleaner ? 

No, I replied. It's my dad. 

With my dad not being very good at communicating his in English, there almost always is a breakdown in communication. It can get frustrating,  but I try to maintain my patience by reminding myself that he's old.. and Filipino, two things that factor in the reasoning of why communication can be so difficult with him, and which can't really be changed. As an example, his English hasn't gotten better despite 30 something years of living in America, and undoubtedly it will stay the same, but it is what makes my dad, my dad. I tell myself that when I get old I will never be that technologically challenged and call my kids up to walk me through things that should be simple, but given my track record with technology - I probably will. So I try to keep that in mind when walking my dad through stuff, but this patience thing is a work in progress.

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