Jul 202004

Grandma Goes Broadband

I’ve always thought my grandmother was a remarkable person. At age 92 (sorry to publish it, Gma), she is pretty hip — drives a Lexus, plays a mean game of bridge, carries a cell phone, and until recently, used WebTV.

She was getting tired of the slow connection via dial-up, so Mariquita and I gave her an old laptop we had and installed a cable modem (I have to commend Cablevision of Westchester/Optimum Online on a very smooth and easy installation process), so now she’s the world’s newest computer user. Those of us who work with computers every day take some of the basics for granted, but if you’ve never used Windows or a mouse before, this stuff is not easy to learn.

But I’m proud to say that Grandma Hazel, after three short days, is using Outlook, used Return Path to announce her change of email address to her address book, set up 1-click on Amazon and bought a couple books, read my blog, and even subscribed to receive email alerts when I post.

After 5 years of WebTV, I think she’s in for a real treat with how fast the web can be and how much there is to explore out there. And if anyone can figure out how to use this stuff, it’s her. Welcome to the web and to blogs, Gma!

  • http://www.kevinmenzie.com Kevin Menzie

    It was an interesting day about three months ago when my Grandma interrupted our phone conversation and said, “I gotta run, why don’t you email me that information.”

    As a designer, our community often refers to the ultimate user-experience passing “The Grandma Test” – meaning that if your grandma can figure out, you should be good to go on usability.

    Now, I’m thinking my Grandma, like yours, may be a little to hip for that as well. It should be interesting to see the next generations of Grandmas. Will those sweet hallmark cards with the 5 dollar bills inside be replaced with Blue Mountain Arts cards and an online gift certificate to Toys “R” Us?

    I seem to be clinging to the notion that Grandmas should always be technology impaired. I guess its time to face the fact that my emailing, AOL-Instant-Messaging, digital-picture-uploading, and Bing Crosby-mp3-downloading grandma is a reality that’s here to stay. Oh sorry, I was just informed that her new handle is now “$1Kma.”