Are You A Milleboomer?

By Cheryl Ryan

You haven’t heard of it? That’s because I made it up. My definition is a boomer trying to, and occasionally succeeding, in keeping up with the tech skills of millennials. They were raised on tech. They learned computer skills at the same time they were learning to ride a bike. And if you’ve ever taken up a sport later in life next to someone that learned when they were younger you know the advantage they have. There really is something to be said about those neural pathways forming early rather than later.

I remember when my kids first used Myspace. They were using abbreviations for a parent present (I still don’t know what it is) or LMAO. With a push of a button they could bring up an entirely different screen so that we couldn’t see who they were talking to. Maybe this didn’t happen at your house but it sure did in mine. 

Then they got their cell phones and mastered speed texting. My youngest daughter was so good at texting during class that she could text while her phone was in her coat pocket out of sight of the teacher. I didn’t realize she’d mastered this keen skill until I got the bill and learned that she’d blown well past her text limit. We reigned in that behavior and I continued to slow-peck my own text messages to friends and family.  

I remember asking my high schoolers to show me something on the computer and they would roll their eyes, grab the keyboard, whip across it and hand it back with the task completed in seconds. And I’ve been playing catch-up ever since.

I made you laugh

This idea of keeping up with our children has come up again recently while getting help on our home audio-visual system. My kids have successfully cut the cable cord using only streaming and YouTube. And they bring their streaming devices wherever we go. So now I’m trying to keep up with that too. Sure their fingers still fly across keyboards (because you know how they are) but now it also includes cords, devices and remote phone navigation. 

Recently, my son-in-law worked on our malfunctioning (a nice way to say user error) home media system.  As he was troubleshooting, he broke into hysterical laughter as we tried to remember the answers to those old Apple security questions. And then he laughed even harder when we discovered that the answers to my security questions were two words with a space. I must confess it was pretty funny and I bought into the Saturday Live skit he laid out and laughed even harder imagining ourselves in Progressive’s Becoming Your Parents  commercials.

Keeping up

Since technology doesn’t seem to be slowing down I guess I can’t either.  I vow to continue following my kids around and filming them as they hook up their new devices. I’ll continue asking lame questions and most likely continue to come up with crazy passwords. I won’t stop attending Apple store classes on making short films or continuing to try to organize all these photos on my iPhone.  

If you’ve got any ideas or tricks to help me in this quest I am open to any and all advice!

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