The elderly parents’ guide to computers

ARE you quite old and find computers baffling and terrifying? Don’t worry – our guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Getting started

This is easy because your son or daughter will set up the computer for you. Remember to drive them to distraction with questions like, “What’s Video X Pro? Where do you put the batteries in? What if a spider gets inside?”

Once the computer is set up after considerable time and effort, show your gratitude by saying, “It all seems like a lot of fuss and bother. We’re not sure we really want one now.”

Other devices

Your computer is not somehow connected to all other electrical devices you own. It is perfectly safe to use the computer and have the TV on. There will still be enough electricity. It will also NOT interfere with your radio, turn the cooker on or agitate the cat.

Email

An ‘email account’ just means ‘your email’. It is not your bank account. You can tell this because your bank is called ‘the Natwest’ and not ‘Yahoo’, and Yahoo is not a bank. It’s that fucking simple.

Basic computing

There are really only three things you need to know about computers:

1. You can watch old films on YouTube and write to people using the aforementioned ’email’ without buying a stamp. Let’s face it, this is all you will be using it for.

2. You cannot ‘break’ computers by using them normally. This only happens if you do something phenomenally stupid like putting it in the dishwasher. Which you will.

3. Computers are not evil and do not watch you and report your activities to the government.

Staying safe online

Be sure to do the classic ‘older computer user’ thing of being utterly paranoid about giving your details to reputable companies like John Lewis, then completely forget about it when sent a clearly bogus email such as:

“FREE GARDEN CENTER PRODUCTS!!! Yes, you is lucky 1,000th persons chosen for FREE GRADEN CENTER PRODUCTS!!! Just send bank account details to [email protected] HURRY HURRY! Gnomes soon run out!!!”  

Troubleshooting

Similar to ‘Getting started’. Constantly phone your daughter in a panic insisting ‘hackers’ have taken over your computer but all you’ve done is open a new window and have no idea how to close it.