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Guest Post: Reflections and Revelations from Christmas’ Past (or Why You Should Help Your Parents Figure Out the Internet)

This is a guest by Jenny Mick from WorkinonARamp. She writes some pretty out there posts, but that’s why I liked her.You should take her 2 cents since we’re in a recession.

The joy of Christmas would have been incomplete without the five to six hours of manual labor from Santa’s elves and financiers.


Sure, Santa* delivered. But without the assembly help from mom and dad, the happy children would have been left to play contently in empty boxes.

Toy train sets and Nintendos do not assemble themselves.

And so, my parents did not force us to watch replays of the Macy’s Day parade. They helped us put together the gifts we circled in the Toys ‘R’ Us magazine three months prior.

So now, with an impending Christmas season and dreams of empty boxes wrapped with currency, my reflection on Christmas’ and birthdays prior has brought a revelation.

The gap in technology between the new workforce and retirees offers a unique opportunity for repayment.

Sure, I’d love to say “Merry Christmas” by sending my parents on a cruise to Ireland. I’d like to fly them to Greece to say thank you for never missing one of my thousands of athletic events.

But what about helping my dad transfer the overwhelming interest in his photos from Facebook to his bank account?

Do I put on a red suit? Do I say I’m too busy with my own web site?

When mom and dad need us to set up a website, fix the Wi-Fi connection, figure out how the hell to set up voicemail on their cell phones, what do we do?

Our parents grew up with real metal toy trains. We grew up with plastic. Today, five year olds have cell phones and laptops. We live in a world that is hyper-connected. It’s crazy. It’s real.

Sure, our parents could solve 98% of their technical difficulties with a little time on Google. We probably could have figured out the assembly of our toys. There were instructions. But we were three.

So maybe now it’s our duty to use the lessons learned in the college classes they made possible to fully understand just how much a little assistance can help. Competitive advantage for example?

We can continue to sample their life advice. With 50+ years on this planet, they clearly have that advantage.

But, rather than send them to the WordPress help forums, could we just type up a basic “How To” and save them three hours in 20 minutes?

We have an advantage. But do we use it? Do you use it?

*Santa = a high school student my dad paid to don a don a pillow-stuffed red suit and deliver our “From: Santa” gifts at 8 a.m. I blame my gullibility on this fact alone.

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