It’s a whole new world for my parents

I don’t give my parents enough credit for having lived through so much change in their lifetimes. I mean, in the last hundred years (or so) almost every aspect of our lives has changed. Much of it happened in the last sixty years. It’s a whole new world for my parents.

To put things in perspective

My dad was 11 when they got electricity in their house. He was a grown man when he got a television, and most modern appliances.

Just think about what the world was like when my dad was 18. There were no cell phones, home computers, or GPS. If you wanted to get somewhere, you had to know how to read a map. If you put a gun to my head and said read a map, I would die.

If you wanted to talk to someone, you had to pick up the phone, and first talk to their parents. I realise you can still call someone these days, but honestly, it’s the least used app on my phone.

There was no social media, and TikTok challenges or hashtags.

I try to explain

Sometimes my parents ask me what something is, or how some technology works, and I do my best to explain. It must be hard to wrap their minds around some things that are common in today’s world.

For example, the whole concept of Uber and Airbnb is actually quite strange. You pay a stranger to come and pick you up or you go live with strangers. What happened to staying away from strangers? Now we’re seeking them out.

I try to answer their questions about the internet, Wi-Fi, cloud storage and so on, and they always give me this perplexed look. Then, as I explain it, I realise how crazy it all sounds, but that’s the world we’re living in.

Then there’s the entertainment industry. It has also massively changed.

There are reality TV stars and then my parents ask me why they’re famous, and I just have to say they’re famous for being famous—which makes no sense. I’m not even going to try to explain influencers.

Don’t get me started on movie genres. These days it’s all superheroes, aliens, and sci-fi. I remember my dad’s bewilderment when my brothers and I were watching Guardians of the Galaxy at home a few years ago. Halfway through the movie, my dad walked in and asked, “What the hell are you kids watching?” In that particular scene, Rocket was arguing with Groot and Drax about whether they were going to go after Peter and Gamora. However, my dad didn’t see it like that—he saw a talking squirrel having an argument with a tree and a blue guy. TV and movies have gotten weird.

These days

These days I’m not even there to explain stuff to my parents in person, and explaining stuff on video chat is no easy feat. This is especially true when they ask me how to do something on a computer. There is a lot of cussing.

I have installed a program on my phone to control their computer remotely, but it seems like I can’t talk (video call) to them on WhatsApp and use the remote control app simultaneously. I might as well not have the app. I need a young person to explain to me what I’m doing wrong. Oh, the cycle of life.


It must be frustrating living in a world that is unrecognisable to what you grew up with. When I have kids, they’re going to explain new technology and trends to me, and I’m going to think they’re crazy. Again, it’s the cycle of life.

Do you have any similar stories about your parents? I’d love to read about it in the comments.



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