‘Moore’s Law’ is the principle that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, resulting in faster computers and exponential growth in technology. If this is true, it would explain why older people struggle to keep up with the rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Whilst newer generations are growing up with computers and smartphones in the internet age, our elders are still in their infancy of using them. This results in some hilarious moments when they completely and utterly fail at using today’s technology. There are more than just tech missteps too—some just come from being out of the loop with the here and now. How do you politely explain to grandma that uh… “thing” she has, is not what she thinks it is?
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We’re not giving them a hard time about it: it’s just funny (and cute) seeing those we consider wiser than us showing us that this isn’t always the case. Bored Panda has collected the latest examples of this but you can see our other collections here and here. Vote for your favorites and try to show your elders how to do it too!
#1 They Had Us In The First Half Not Gonna Lie
Image credits: balmthreat
When we think about the expansion of the internet in the last thirty years, it’s hard to imagine a world without it, or even a time before it. Although the younger generation has an increasing dependence on it, the previous generations got by just fine without it.
So, this begs the question of why older people would need it at all. It can be tricky trying to explain the benefits and fun of it to someone that still doesn’t know what “an internet” is.
To get some insights on why it’s important for all ages to use the internet, I spoke to Kascha Cassaday, one of the co-founders of ‘Cyber Seniors‘. Their company provides free training and technology support for senior citizens from tech-savvy student volunteers.
Kascha told Bored Panda, “The pandemic proved more than ever the importance of being tech literate. As we were all stuck at home, we relied on video calls to decrease social isolation. As seniors age and their mobility decreases, technology will keep them independent and connected.”
#2 Me: “Grandma, I’d Like To Take A Picture Of Us”. Activate Front-Facing Camera. Grandma: “Oh That’s A Very Nice Picture, When Is That From?” Me: “That’s Us Right Now”
Image credits: KONTRON613
Learning something new is difficult for anybody, not at least for older people. So, there can be some teething issues when trying to use the internet on your own. Combine that with the naivety of what is socially acceptable to share online and not knowing the modus operandi of online communities, and you have the results shown here.
Although the internet has officially been around for a long time, seeing and sharing funny examples of the elderly misusing it has only appeared in recent times. So, why are pages like r/OldPeopleFacebook only popping up now?
There’s a number of factors that account for it, and if you bear with us, it’s interesting to look at. Like we mentioned about ‘Moore’s Law’, technology is becoming more advanced as time goes on. It’s also becoming cheaper and therefore, more available too.
#3 Here Is My Favorite Picture Of My Grandma. She Was Having A Hard Time With The Mixer
Image credits: Bungalowbeast
#4 My Dad Likes Reading So I Got Him A Kindle For His Birthday. He’s Using It As A Bookmark
Image credits: repliers_beware
A perfect example of this is our computers and internet speeds. Anyone who remembers booting up a bulky beige box and having to listen to the sound of robots screaming to access the internet in the early ‘90s will understand what we mean. Computers with dial-up were slow back then.
Nowadays, we have the internet in the palm of our hands with smartphones, and we always seem to be connected wherever we go. This makes it easier to enjoy all the benefits that it brings. Whether it’s staying connected with family and friends or checking out the latest fun stuff on Bored Panda, there’s plenty of joy to be had.
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#5 Grandpa Went To Get His Passport Photos Done But Pressed The Wrong Button
Image credits: AnnaHeslop
#6 My Uncle Using His Flashlight To Brighten Up My Dads iPad Screen
Image credits: brisk911
And it seems the younger generations want their parents and grandparents to join in too. In an ongoing survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the results show that the numbers of elderly US citizens using the internet are gradually increasing year upon year. When the study first started in the year 2000, only 14% of over-65s said they’d used it. Currently, 75% of people in the same age range now use it regularly.
#7 My Grandfather Got This Tie For Free In The ’90s And Wears It To Every Passover Seder
Image credits: Dresslerj1
Image credits: JJ_Denhollander
#9 My Wife’s Grandpa Is Unsubscribing From Facebook
Image credits: Capnbubba
It’s great that more and more elderly have access to the internet. Now, they just need some supervision on how to use it properly… But in all seriousness, despite having used it, there’s still a large number of elderly that struggle with it.
A 2015 survey also completed by Pew Research Center shows that only 26% of over-65s feel confident in using computers, smartphones, or other devices. Approximately one-third of the respondents said that they were only a little (23%) or not at all (11%) confident with using tech to go online.
I asked Kascha why this is. She said, “In the beginning, seniors tend to struggle with everything, from how to use a mouse to different tech terms. Words like, ‘apps’, ‘data’, or ‘wifi’ can be foreign to them. But if they are determined to learn, they will. The only reason they don’t is fear of failure or feeling frustrated because no one is taking the time to teach them.”
#10 I Told My Grandpa That I Wanted To Build My Own Computer While We Were Talking Over The Phone, A Week Later This Came In The Mail
Image credits: sagull
#11 My Grandparents Were Waiting For Each Other At The Mall
Image credits: bigred1987
#12 My Mother Made A Facebook Account And This Was Her First Message To Me
Image credits: Safferso
A change is definitely needed to help the elderly’s attitude to technology and the internet. How can we make a difference? The Good Things Foundation, a US charity that helps people to get online, has partnered with the Centre for Ageing Better in the UK to publish a handy guide on how to do so.
Taking things slowly and one step at a time is an important point in beginning their journey. The guide explains: “Agree on simple goals, at least to start with. On the first day, it could be just checking the weather or what’s on TV, which can give older people a sense of instant achievement. But also think about more complex, longer-term goals, like having a video call with a relative.”
#13 My Grandma Thought This Was A Cross So She Hung It Up. I Decided Not To Correct Her
Image credits: The_Man_Named______
#14 When You Choose An Inappropriate Background To Break The Bad News
Image credits: pikadrew
#15 Set Up My Mom’s Updated TV System Yesterday
Image credits: GreasedLlama
There’s an emphasis on taking it slowly too. The guide continues: “Don’t rush them: if they’re not ready to start right now, try and agree on a time that you can both put aside. Let them feel in control. Tell them they can stop anytime they want to.”
“Explain that you don’t want to show them everything, but you think there are one or two things that they might find useful. Explain what the benefits are, and give them the chance to ask questions.”
#16 Haven’t Found My Fisheye Lens For Weeks. My Mom Used It As A Clipper
Image credits: ur1m
#17 My Grandma, An Avid Gardener, Has Been Wearing This Mask For Weeks. The Checkout Lady At The Store Today Explained It To Her
Image credits: candice13579
#18 My Grandma Knows I’m An Uber Driver But Doesn’t Know How It Works. She Got Me This Planner And Wrote “Thought This Would Be Good For Your Uber Appt’s”
She’s beyond precious.
Image credits: ck2400
There’s a lot more great information in the guide, so if you need help getting some stubborn elders onto the internet, it’s a recommended read. Hopefully, we’ll see more people of all ages getting started, especially for the fun stuff they unintentionally bring us.
Let us know if you have your own elders that give you a laugh when trying to use the internet. And share your stories in the comments!
#19 My Grandpa Asked Why The Trail Mix Tasted So Bad
Image credits: karmaqueen_
#20 Trying To Explain To The 70-Year-Old Swiss Man Who Offered To Take Our Pic That His Finger Was Covering The Lens
Image credits: Inesmu
#21 My Grandma Bought My Whole Family Masks – Not Only Do They Make You Look Like Underwear Hannibal Lecter, But They Also Have Holes Punched Through To Make It “Easier To Breathe”
Image credits: drewhead118
#22 Hey, That’s My Son
Image credits: iStigmatic
#23 My Grandmother Passed Down Her Recipes On A Floppy Disk
Image credits: Spdrcrv6tt
#24 My Grandma Loves Her “Jesus” Statue
Image credits: jmonty156
#25 My Grandmother Had Some Kind Of Existential Facebook Crisis This Afternoon
Image credits: Stryfe2000Turbo
#26 My Father Made This Really Nice Landscaping In His Front Yard. And Then He Stood Back And Realized What He Had Done
Image credits: sxr326
#27 When Mom Comes Over To Visit
Image credits: samadeeb
#28 This Is What Happens When Your 2,088-Week-Old Mother Loves To Push Buttons In Her New Car
Image credits: rizabove
#29 So My Cat-Crazy Mother Figured Out How To Change The WiFi Name Today, Now My Neighbours Must Think We’re Running A Brothel. Great
Image credits: Neuroapex
#30 My Grandma’s Friend Used The Voice To Text Option And Couldn’t Get It To Stop
Image credits: genleiaorgana
#31 My Dad Gave Me This Picture For Christmas
Image credits: Dabeeeeeeed
#32 My Grandpa Doesn’t Trust His New Roomba So He’s Been Following It Around
Image credits: WarmTummyRubs
#33 My Friend Was At The Airport, And This Old French Woman Just Didn’t Care
Image credits: djTrip9
#34 My Grandmother Politely Asked Me To Try And Not Leave My Condoms In Her House. I Think I Need To Politely Ask Grandma To Upgrade Her Prescription Glasses
Image credits: Jonny1992
#35 My Grandmother Found A Lanyard For Her Keys
Image credits: thecmanfranklin
#36 Found This On Facebook Marketplace And Can’t Stop Thinking About It
Image credits: walterfilbert
#37 My 97-Year-Old Grandpa Is On Facebook. A Couple Of Years Ago He Liked A Photo Of Mine, So He Printed The Whole Page To Display It In His Home
Image credits: maddierose1418
#38 My Grandfather Bought This Neck Massager Online. He Thinks It’s Interesting That This Model Is Also Waterproof
Image credits: johnderek182
#39 My Mother Got Embarrassed When She “Found My Girlfriends Panties” On Our Kitchen Table
Image credits: TommyNoble21
#40 Wrong Emoji
Image credits: ka5sh
#41 My Grandma Doesn’t Believe I Am Who I Say I Am
Image credits: Higgles7
#42 My Mom Accidentally Printed Her Divorce Papers On Stickers
Image credits: lmhimes75
#43 Went To China To Visit My Grandparents And Saw This Picture On Their Wall. They Thought It Meant Something Inspirational In English
Image credits: Dracolord1221
#44 Cher Accidentally Turning On Night Mode And Nancy Sinatra Telling Her To Restart. Amazing
Image credits: terrorwill
#45 I Got My 80-Year-Old Father This As A Gag Gift. When He Opened It, He Got All Embarrassed And Immediately Tucked It Away
Later, I privately asked him why he got all weird about it, and I found out that he was under the impression that it was a sex toy.
Image credits: PyroNecrophile
#46 My Mom Found A Blurb In The Newspaper About An App She Was Interested In And Wanted To Remember
Instead of taking a picture of it, she cut it out and taped it to the back of her phone.
Image credits: Feebedel324
#47 My Girlfriend’s 79-Year-Old Grandpa Asked Us To Come Over On Easter So He Could Give Us Some Free Computers
Said he keeps getting them for donating. Said his garage is full of them.
Image credits: tek0011
#48 My Mom Photocopies Recipes Off Of Her iPad
Image credits: devillius
#49 When My Grandfather Has To Log Into Facebook, He Creates A New Account Instead. Today Is His Birthday
Image credits: GuitaristHeimerz
#50 Old People Youtube
Image credits: kevInquisition