Today was ‘bring my father up to date with technology’ day. Well, at least the second part of the day fit that description. The first part was wearying and tiring so I spent a huge part of it in my favorite activity – sleep. With the house being (almost always) filled with people these days, there were a few quiet hours in the evening with just me and daddy dearest. And thankfully, those hours were one of the only bright parts of my dragging weekend.
My dad approached me today evening, android phone in hand, wondering why his phone failed to save photos any longer, and refused to update the apps when the prompt came from Playstore. Our discussion about reduced internal storage in older Android phones went from there to the ‘golden days’ where mobile phones were simple instruments used to call friends and relatives be connected to each other at all times.
I had to laugh along at his animated words about how phones were creeping into every minute of our days and he semi-jokingly pointed out that I may leave home without spectacles but never without the phone (it was funny because it was an impossible thing – I need my spectacles to have normal sight in one eye). And I, in turn, pointed out all the benefits technology offered, reminding him of how he could conveniently book a cab even during midnight or download pictures and videos with a few touches and swipes of his mobile screen.
Whatsapp and YouTube, I assumed, were two of my biggest aids. He was active on both, using the former to keep himself connected with his family & friends and the latter to see videos of devotional songs and yesteryear classics many times a day. He also used the phone conveniently for messaging, emailing and the many additionally useful apps like dictionaries and banking apps. I brought all that into the conversation, of course, pointing out that he himself was with his phone in hand most of the day.
And he gave me a reply I will never forget. “It does not become right just because dad is doing it. I think we must both make an effort to tone down our usage. I will do it easier than you could because I have lived without even a concept of a phone in my youth while you have been exposed to phones since the day you were born and mobile phones by the time you turned ten.”
I couldn’t help but agree to the truth in the statement and while I cleared his phone’s internal storage and told him where things were going wrong, I asked him to scroll through my phone and see how I had stored my apps and music, and how I frequently cleared the photos / heavy media. He scrolled through all the memes I had stored (and that resulted in a long and happy half an hour of laughs) He also practiced clearing his phone’s storage in case the error came up.
From there, I showed him how to connect the phone to the TV and how we could use the cast screen function. We had fun playing videos and photos on the screen. I made him play games (which he found absolutely wonderful) and adjust the equalizer (one of his favorite hobbies) on the screen.
While I really loved the way he exclaimed gleefully about the technological advancements, I could not help but notice how much time I had spent glued to my devices and how much it had affected my health and sleep cycles. It was an amazing day that brought me back to my childhood. I had taught the basics of technology to the man who taught me the basics of everything. It was a memorable evening and one that I really would cherish. If I had showed even half the enthusiasm he showed while learning things, I would have been a much better person!
Oh, and the most special part? My father read my (published) story and a few posts from my blog on the big TV screen! I was so flustered but his praising smile was more than enough for me to sustain through what is going to be a harrowing week.
Daddy’s little princess all the way.<3 (Well, an overstatement on the ‘little’ there, but my dad agrees so that’s that!)