While I am a total technology geek who spends hours reading through all types of tech blogs and magazines, this knowledge that I gain is limited in who I can communicate it to. In fairness, who really wants to have in-depth conversation about the advantages of LTE vs 4G standards without falling asleep? Yes, there are plenty of my friends that love these conversations, but when I meet most of my family, especially the older generations I might as well be speaking to a wall.
When asked at those family events by aunts and uncles and grandparents how my work is going and what I do, most can understand that I like radio communications and work for a telecoms company. That’s probably as far as it goes.
However, they somehow think that I just fix phone lines, rather than work on complex communications routing systems. If I even mention the word blog about comms technology the little understanding they may have is lost. Of course, very few of them use the Internet, and if they do it is for minimal news reading at best.
However, I recently tried a different approach to this, when my grandmother had a problem with her home phone system that was causing her understandable worries. She is no longer the most mobile person and requires a walking frame to get around the house. This is a common reality for many elderly people and she does count herself blessed that she can live on her own.
However, she is very reliant on her phone as it is the main way for her to contact family and friends in case of an emergency. Her old phone was a very reliable large button phone but it was wired. So she ended up having one of them in multiple rooms which must have been a nightmare when the whole house seemed to ring in multiple locations.
Anyway, one of these had broken down and this model was no longer available, so she was worried about getting a new one. I initially thought I could just pick up a standard cordless phone and she would be all sorted, but when I showed her the one I have, she was not happy with the display and button size.
So, I had to do some research and thankfully phoneforhome.com has an extensive section with recommendations of the best cordless phone for seniors and their individual merits. I was able to show her pictures of the cordless phone and she was happy that it would be large enough to use.
It’s now been 3 weeks since I installed it for her and she has already called me back to get rid of the old phones, which had to stay just in case she wasn’t happy.
So, even though my granny doesn’t fully understand what it is I do, we have been able to relate our passions and concerns on the basis of modern technology.