Old People and Technology Don’t Mix

As most of you know, we’re spending a lot of time at my parents’ house as we get the condo situation straightened out and look for a new place to live. They’ve been absolutely fantastic taking us in, putting up with us and watching Will more times than I can count. We’d truly be lost without them.

So naturally I’m going to ridicule and humiliate them here.

My parents have been together FOREVER. They’ve known each other since the 6th grade, they’ve been dating since their junior year of high school and married for almost 35 years. I can’t be sure, but I think they ran out of things to talk about after the first 12 days or so. And since then, they’ve filled their downtime with an endless amount of bickering. I’m not kidding. Anyone who knows my parents knows they go at each other like—well, like an old married couple. It’s not (usually) nasty or mean-spirited or anything like that. They love each other. They just have a funny way of showing it sometimes.

And one of the arguments that seems to pop up is over technology.

My dad has an iPhone 4S. Probably because my brother has an iPhone 4S. The two of them are in an eternal technological competition, always trying to one-up each other. My dad gets a 50-inch TV and my brother gets a 52-inch TV. Then my dad spends the next few months trying to convince my mom to get a new TV—and TV that’s bigger than Nate’s. To my dad’s credit, he does know how to use his phone for the most part.

But that’s in stark contrast to my mom. She doesn’t care about the difference between regular def and HD on TVs. Her cell phone is a Droid Incredible and she has absolutely no clue how to use it beyond the phone and texting. Seriously. She’s had the phone for two years, and last month she asked me what the funny little icons were at the top of the screen. She had no freaking clue there was a drop down menu and had never updated any of her apps, checked missed calls, etc. Which is mind-blowing to me.

But despite her technological shortcomings, my mom has no shortage of opinions regarding the matter.

The first thing you need to know is my mom hates Siri. If you’re not aware, Siri is like a virtual personal assistant on the new iPhone. You just ask her a question and she’ll find your answer. Even though I’m not an Apple fan, it is pretty amazing technology. But my mom DESPISES her. Which isn’t totally surprising considering my mom tends to dislike and mistrust any robotic persona that attempts to tell her what to do.

Case in point, a few years ago my mom got a Tom-Tom. But instead of using the GPS as it’s supposed to be used, she would quarrel with it and try to trick it. If Tom-Tom told her to go one way, she’d automatically take a different route just out of spite. Which, ya know, kind of defeats the purpose of a GPS. And that was just with directions, so you can imagine the angst she feels towards the all-knowing Siri. To make matters worse, my father’s sole purpose in life seems to be crawling under my mom’s skin and pissing her off every chance he gets. Which means he’s constantly using Siri in her presence.

Which takes us to last Tuesday night.

Mom yelled at dad for using Siri. Again. Dad then told mom he uses Siri because it allows him to skip a step and do things like text faster. My mother (who just an hour earlier learned about the “missed call” notification icon on her own phone) took issue with this and basically told my dad he was full of shit. She claimed she could use the voice activation on her phone to text me something faster than my dad and Siri could. Whoever sent me a text that said “I’m home” first would win.

I sat on the couch in disturbed silence as these two elderly smartphone gunslingers prepared for a not-so-epic duel of inept proportions. After a 3-2-1 countdown they were off. I took mental notes and it went something like this:

Dad: “Siri, send a text message to Aaron—”

Mom: (speaking into her Droid) “I’m home.”

Siri: “I’m sorry, I did not hear what you said. Who would you like to send this to?”

Dad: “Cynthia, you can’t talk while I’m talking. She can’t hear what I’m saying.”

Mom: “Done! It’s sent. Told you.”

Me: “Mom, I don’t have a text from you.”

Dad: “Siri, text Aaron and say—‘”

Mom: “What do you mean you didn’t get it? I sent it!”

Siri: “I’m sorry, I did not understand–”

Dad: “Hey, that’s not fair. You’re talking over me.”

Mom: “I’ll try it again. ‘I’m home.'”


Me: “I still don’t have your text mom.”

Siri: “Are you trying to contact Nate?”

Mom: “I don’t know what’s wrong, I’m texting you!”

Dad: “Jesus Christ Siri, you’re not helping me here…”

Me: “Mom, your phone automatically imports Facebook contacts. You’re probably trying to text my Facebook.”

Siri: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand—”

Mom: “Oh shut up. I win. I’ve already sent two text messages.”

Me: “Two text messages that haven’t gotten to me.”

Dad: “Siri, you’re making me look bad after I stuck up for you!!”

Me: “Everyone looks bad today. I’m going to bed. You two work it out amongst yourselves.”

Until next time, when they fight about who’s the worst driver. In the meantime, if you want to see the most hilarious parody video ever involving Siri, just click here.

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