ARE your elderly parents always pestering you with badly-explained computer problems? Here’s how to help without strangling them with the mouse cable.
Learn to think in a clueless way
Have your parents repeatedly searched Yahoo mail for ‘Does B and Q have patio furniture for a small garden? Thank you, Margaret and Iain’ and received no matches? This means the internet is broken. It is now up to you to fix it.
Do not expect them to use normal terms
They absolutely will not use the correct terms for everyday technology. Thus the mouse they still use will be called ‘the controller’, YouTube is ‘the music player’ and the computer going into sleep mode means ‘the internet must have finished for today’.
Have several very large glasses of wine beforehand
Heavy drinking is the only way to remain calm and non-murderous when your parents explain they’ve handed over their bank details after clicking on an ad with a picture of a luxury yacht entitled, ‘Retired poeple’s are making MILLION $$$s!!! Are you ready for OPPORTUNITY of a LIFE’S TIME???’
Remember they have been scared silly by the media
Retired people consume a lot of media scare stories, whether it’s the Daily Express or Radio 4. If they’ve minimised a window and can’t remember how to get it back, it’s only natural for them to think it’s Russian criminals gradually downloading their pensions like in a 1990s hacker movie.
Take a couple of police officers with you
When you go over to inspect their malfunctioning laptop yet again, only to discover they haven’t plugged it in for a month, two burly coppers may be all that stops you throttling them as the ‘red mist’ descends.