back to top

15 People Share Tales Of Living With A Computer-Illiterate Family

"Did you try restarting it, Mom?" Relax, Windows 10 is familiar — and at Best Buy.

Posted on

We asked our friends to share their most memorable (and adorable) stories of living with computer-illiterate family members. 💙

"My dad used to send a lot of his emails in all caps because he felt like it helped 'get the point across.' He recently confessed to me that he would accidentally hit the caps lock key and didn't know how to turn it off."

—Kim F.

"When I visit my parents, my dad makes me type emails that he dictates to me, as he stares out a window like Napoleon."

—Kristin R.

"My dad once asked me to print out an email, and then fax it to him."

—Ashley C.

"My mom wanted to convert a video to still images so I told her to just pause and take screenshots. She asked me if I meant to take a picture of the screen with her camera, so I had to explain the whole concept of the print screen button."

—Chris D.

"My mom once called me because she wanted to send an article link to somebody, but she was on the article page and didn't know where to find the link."

—Tory G.

"My mom still doesn't understand the notion of 'double-clicking' to open something on the computer."

—Tara P.

"Years ago, I gave my mom an mp3 player as a present. She called me up to tell me that it was broken. I asked her to explain, and she said that one day it simply stopped working, and pressing the buttons didn't do anything.

"After a few minutes of questioning, I asked her when was the last time she charged it. She responded with, 'Ohhhh it needs to be charged?'"

—Polina G.

"My mom has had a smartphone since 2009, but she still doesn't understand the concept of maps or navigation apps. Every time she visits me in L.A., she has to ask me to text her directions to my apartment."

—Kirby D.

"My mom was freaking out because her phone wasn't letting her enter her password. She didn't know how to swipe. The word swipe wasn't helping her. I had to talk her though placing her finger on the left of the screen, dragging it to the right WITHOUT LIFTING IT, on the shiny bar near the lower third of the screen.

"It took a solid five minutes, which is actually a very long time."

—Emily S.

"When I got instant messaging, my mom was in the room while I got my first IM. Upon hearing the ding sound, she sprung up and asked, 'CAN THEY SEE YOU?!' We didn't have a webcam, and I was on a desktop computer."

—Mandy C.

"Questions from my mom:

[At the end of a video chat]: 'What happens now? Do I click "off" or do you?'

[When I tell her to go to Preferences to change a setting]: 'OK so do I just search "Preferences" on the internet?'"

—Ayla N.

"My parents don't understand what a right click does. My parents don't know how to put photos into emails. My parents don't understand copy and paste. My mom goes to her old homepage first no matter what website she wants to go to or what she wants to do."

—Emily C.

"My grandma didn't know how to properly save a document (File + Save). She would 'click the X' and then would click 'yes' when it asked, 'Do you want to save this document?' She did this every time she wanted to save something and would reopen it afterwards every single time."

—Danielle C.

"My grandma always says things to my mom like, 'You're so fancy with your internet. I live in a small house, so I don't have room for the internet!' She seems to think it's some physical entity. And, for the record, her house is about five times the size of my apartment, and I can fit the internet just fine!"

—Dana V.

"My grandmother kept asking me if I got her emails. One day, she called me, worried about a video my cousin had emailed to her. 'It was so sweet, Clark,' she said, 'this little boy was singing this pretty song. I want to email him back but I can't find his original email.'

"After explaining an email inbox, I asked her what the video was. As she was describing it, I couldn't help but laugh. She wasn't referring to an email, she was referring to a status update. She also wasn't referring to a 'sweet little boy' singing but instead it was a grown man parodying a country singer."

—Clark M.

Love you, fam. Windows 10 is here, and best of all, it's familiar. Try it yourself at your local Best Buy store. 💻

And while you're at it, please take this survey! It's more fun than calling tech support!