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RoseRed135

Modern technology and family/IL problems

19 posts in this topic

Do you find that modern tech makes communication w/ your family/ILs easier or more complex? And how does it impact, if at all, on family/IL relations?

Edited by RoseRed135
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tcseacliff

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... when I got divorced my children were just getting beepers, then we progressed to cell phones. I wanted them to keep in touch, and when  I had them on week ends and such, when they went to visit friends they could call me and pick them up and such! I liked having that connection. the ex had no cell phone and was not quick to adopt one. i for ,liked the connection! fast forward, they HATE talking on the phone! they rarely use any minutes mostly data! my son is always running his data over from streaming ,but none for texts to me ! the last conversation, text wise was him needing a new phone! his girl texted me alerting me to his phone not getting calls!

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SueSTx

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I hate texting and never even check for messages.  My family all know, if you want to talk CALL or send a PM on social media and I will answer as soon as I find it.  Nothing like a full size keyboard for these old stiff fingers.

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Mame925

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We do text as a group. The kids have an underground I generally want no part of, so stay out of that, but for arranging 'things' or sharing an event photo it gets done in a group, we all comment and move on. It saves wear & tear on my fingers & nerves. 

I do get complaints from the kids that "she never checks her phone"...which is not true, but it is often in my bag, I don't have it glued to my side 24/7. Sometimes I don't hear it. 

@tcseacliff consider a 'facetime' or 'skype' date from time to time with the kids. This may be a 'mismatched expectations' on both levels...or perhaps cross purposes. You each think the other should be initiating contact. And I think it would be especially galling if you are paying for those phones.

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tcseacliff

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I am not totally sure how bust they are texting. I know my daughter in general just is not a big communitcator. I get that busy etc. she is a school teacher ,with a new house, new child etc, but this started long before her "busy-ness! all I am asking for is a little acknowledgement of being alive! I had paid for the phones for 15 years, but now the bill was getting too much for my budget, so now ,i still pay the largest portion of the family plan and they now pay for their lines. cheaper for all ! I just thought since I am so far away, a phone call ,text or just a hey da anything would be nice! i am not demanding to be visited or have me as a house guest. OH, on that note, I gave the wife the house in the divorce, i did not want my children in an apartment if i demanded my half!! so, now fast forward from 1995-2016,the eX just sold the house, which forvced my son out! a good move to get him to be adult , but she gave the proceeds to my daughter, to buy a bigger house,which now has a glorious apt in the basement for MOM!!!yeah, it hurts! i cannot even get a hey dad so how are you today??? I was a faithful husband, available dad, just  out of work too much! she cheated on me while drinking with her friends.so I knew the marriage was in trouble but i did not stray . she would go out on friday and or a sat night with her friends from work! I chose to not do that I would maybe take myself to a movie or bowling ,just to get out also! my children do not know all these details! but she is he hero in all this!!

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1 hour ago, RoseRed135 said:

Do you find that modern tech makes communication w/ your family/ILs easier or more complex? And how does it impact, if at all, on family/IL relations?

For us, it's definitely easier. We only do text with family, all family, IL's included. We want the conversation in writing so they can't later say they never said "that" or whatever. My mom, one Aunt, and my immediate family, oh-and one really good friend are about the only ones I talk on the phone with, other than work and service calls. Everyone else gets texts or emails.

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well, I did have a big day today! I was strategically texting my son, daughter his girlfriend. then I had an epiphany! then I discovered my niece was going to NY! then the subject of visiting my children. whe wanted to so, I go some great videos today from my daughter and granddaughter ,thanks to my Niece and had a wonderfully long conversation with my son, ( he felt bad for t calling me Christmas!) well this was quite a turnaround from the past 6 mos or so,Thanksgiving was a bust !  my son has my labilities, my daughter is stoic like her MOM, not as warm and fuzzy as my son! wow ! I am glowing!

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4 minutes ago, Cupcake55 said:

For us, it's definitely easier. We only do text with family, all family, IL's included. We want the conversation in writing so they can't later say they never said "that" or whatever. My mom, one Aunt, and my immediate family, oh-and one really good friend are about the only ones I talk on the phone with, other than work and service calls. Everyone else gets texts or emails.

I do, now and then communicate with the families of my EX . usually a reaction of a "LIKE" from Facebook post.usually cordial family stuff, birthdays,trips  etc. we all read each others FB lives so it is all in the open. a few messages with the ones I am friended to! I was lucky enough to be like d by my ex's family . not sure what light I was shone in but,all good! so much they don't know!

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My ILs are on social media, and a couple years ago, my DN1.2 set up a shared-photo album on my phone, where the ILs can post random pics (hundreds from T'giving Day-- hundreds!).

The proliferation of technology and avenues for communication can make relationships worse, if they're already ailing. With my ILs, the increased communication just showed how bad they actually are at communicating (and how awful they are as people).

OSIL's overly-gushy, narcissistic texts. YSIL's overly-gushy, enabling texts. MIL's overly-gushy, barely-intelligible texts. OBIL's arrogant, smarmy, self-aggrandizing responses. And all of it with a thick coating of religious sentiments.

Oooof, I'm so glad we're away from them all.

BTW, a couple of days ago, I unsubscribed from the family photo-sharing. While I enjoyed seeing pics of nieces and nephews, my DN1.2 kept posting pictures of OSIL, and I just didn't want to see that hag anymore.

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It depends on the family member LOL. When my dad was still alive, I was able to call and talk to him and check on him because he kept his phone on him for emergencies (he was always in his man cave, mom actually kept a baby monitor in the bedroom that they added to the bottom floor when Daddy was relegated to the wheelchair, in case he needed her while he was in there, but he preferred to keep his cell phone with him in the man cave.) If he was awake (he fell asleep in his chair frequently watching tv) he would always answer. Calls were usually brief but sweet. 

Mom, well my mom is almost as technologically savvy as my girls and I are. She is MORE savvy than my DH to be honest. She loves Facebook especially, and she texts frequently (though it does tickle me to see the size of the font she keeps her phone set on). She has the latest smartphone, a laptop and an iPad and uses them all regularly. We Skype every once in a while if she's out of town. Our phones are not compatible for video chatting without Skype (think Android vs iPhone - with Facetime and Android Video Calling not working together). We chat frequently on the phone. She gets most of her pictures from Facebook or Instagram. 

My MIL, while still alive, had a very basic phone and couldn't have turned a laptop on if her life depended on it. So technology was not a thing for her. If we wanted her to have pictures we had to print them off for her. 

My FIL...what can I say about FIL. He has no idea what he is doing with technology...but MUST have the latest smartphone because it's what the guy at the store recommended. I'm totally serious. Before SIL's family moved in with him, we sat down and talked about how we could help him and him still maintain his independence. We REALLY wanted him to consider a step retirement facility where he could be totally independent but step up to assisted if he needed it. He absolutely refused. At the time we were the closest ones to him and we were over an hour away. (He and MIL chose to move way out away from all of us years ago, chose a steep two story house, etc. I don't think that they even considered the fact that they weren't getting any younger and might need help and that those stairs were going to be a major problem very soon. I HATE those stairs, they kill me!! And FIL had to finally have a lift put in to stay there). With his history of falling and not being able to get himself up, and his very lucky past with his phone surviving ( the last time it broke apart in a million pieces and he had to crawl around putting it back together to call one of us!!!) We talked about a Life Alert or something similar. He didn't want to pay for it. We offered to pay for it. He wouldn't wear it! He said he would be fine with his phone. Ok, fine. We had a tracker on our girls' phones - for several reasons - one being that they periodically misplaced them at home or school and it was easy to use to find the phones. Additionally, oldest DD had just started driving and actually came to me and we sat down and talked about being able to find her if something happened to her. She and her sister both liked the idea of a family tracker, where we could all find each other. With my dad being unable to help mom in an emergency, mom asked to be added as well. So I suggested that FIL let us add him as well for emergencies. He was all for it. I added the app to his phone and for several months we were able to find him if he was out of contact or we were worried (not stalking him, but he had a habit of muting his phone and then not answering anyone for hours. With him living alone and not in great health, the peace of mind of being able to find him if we needed to was great). The application was not huge and not a big battery drain, but he had other stuff on the phone that WAS. Now I promise you, I sat down, showed him the app on my phone, explained what it was and how we used it, and got his full permission to put the app on his phone. Showed it to him on HIS phone and we talked about it all over again to make sure he knew what I was doing. I wouldn't do that without his permission. He likes to ride his scooter around in stores and the Big Box Bulk store near him also has a representative from his Cell Phone Provider in store. He stopped one day to ask them about the battery. (let me put it this way, I hit the button to see what apps were open, the one where you can close all apps...he had never closed a single app since he had purchased the phone. It took several MINUTES to close all of the apps on his phone) The Cell Phone Provider saw the tracking app and asked him what it was, FIL told him he had no idea...that he didn't put it on there. So the representative deleted it from his phone. SIGH.....

BUT he has to have the most current smart phone out there and upgrades FREQUENTLY. He even got some kind of free panoramic web cam as a 'free gift' (I'm not sure it was free to be honest). He handed me a box at his house one night and said "BEG, what is this?" It even took me a minute to figure it out. I have no idea what he needed it for. But he needed it according to him. ( and apparently the Cell Phone Rep) because it would let him talk to his kids. Which is funny, because his kids don't know their rear from their elbows when it comes to technology. My DH uses his phone as....gasp...a phone and occasionally texts. He's just recently figured out he can watch sports on it lol. My SIL is a lot like her mom. She can barely turn a laptop on. We spent 45 minutes one day updating her Kindle so she could read. 

My phone is part of me now lol. It's how my girls and I communicate with each other more frequently. I'm all about technology. 

Edited by BlueEyedGirl

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Today's technology has definitely enhanced communication between my DDs and me. Knowing that YDD is just a phone call/text away almost no matter where she is, of course, is invaluable when I'm watching her kids. Not that there's usually a need for calls/texts. But when there is, it's great.

Also. some of you may remember how FB improved communication between ODD and me. It's just so simple for her to message/answer me when she's on there. No more frustration of leaving her, say, a voicemail and waiting days for her to call back. She was after us for a long time to join FB, but I resisted b/c of some of the negative things I've heard about it. Then it occurred to me that it might better help us keep in touch w/ her. So I joined (this was a few years ago) and since then, we get in touch about once a week. DH still won't join FB, so he still waits for her to get back to him on the phone if he calls her. But often gets "news," etc. from her and SIL through me. :)

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DD talk on the phone all day and chooses not to talk at night.  She will PM on facebook.  Her phone is set to ding and if it is important she will get right back to me.  I will get back to her the next time I am on the computer.  We do not have internet on our phones, old timey flips and good enough for me.  We do not need to be tied to the computer and the phone keys are to small for these old bent fingers to use anyway.

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MIL's SO that passed away always had the newest phones too. But he had no clue how to use them, and it was usually the sales guy who would convince him he needed the newest models too. I just find that so terrible, and felt it was taking advantage of an elderly man.

DH has been trying for almost as long as I've known him to teach his mom about cell phones, and other than to make an outgoing call she doesn't use it. But she would do this terribly annoying thing where she would call DH, leave a message, and then turn the phone completely off so we couldn't call back even when we got the message. This led to so many messed up plans. He's tried to explain to her repeatedly that the phone doesn't need to powered down but it's still never sunk in. He also tried to teach her how to Skype and bought her a tablet because she was convinced she needed it. She could never get the hang of it and it's now just a very expensive solitaire game. 

I rarely call anyone anymore, I don't like talking on the phone anyways - I also am on the phone a lot at work too. So I'd rather text, and that way I feel like people can respond when they're able, and I'm not interrupting anyone's life with a ringing phone. 

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The Cell Phone Provider saw the tracking app and asked him what it was, FIL told him he had no idea...that he didn't put it on there. So the representative deleted it from his phone. SIGH.....

@BlueEyedGirl - I know FIL is a difficult man, but is it possible he really never understood? Even if he doesn't have dementia, IMO, this is a possibility. IME, some elderly people reach a point where they just don't think as well, even if their minds are basically ok. So they "nod & smile" when you (general) explain something and say they "understand," but, in time, you find out they really didn't.

BEG, you've tried your best w/ FIL in so many ways. Maybe now you need to step back a little? There's only so much anyone can do to help the man. And you have your own family unit to think about.

FIL.... has no idea what he is doing with technology...but MUST have the latest smartphone because it's what the guy at the store recommended. I'm totally serious.

And w/ all due disrespect to FIL, BEG, I imagine the "guy at the store" is at fault here, too. TBF, he might just be recommending to FIL what he recommends to everybody. But he might also be taking advantage, as NM suggests below:

MIL's SO that passed away always had the newest phones too. But he had no clue how to use them, and it was usually the sales guy who would convince him he needed the newest models too. I just find that so terrible, and felt it was taking advantage of an elderly man.  

@NewMama - I so agree!

DH has been trying for almost as long as I've known him to teach his mom about cell phones, and other than to make an outgoing call she doesn't use it

He also tried to teach her how to Skype and bought her a tablet...  She could never get the hang of it...

Some people just can't for some reason. Or maybe they're resisting on some level b/c it's "new," etc. IME, that's more often true of elderly people. However, DH's late sister was like this even in her 30s & 40s. It was hard for her to keep up w/ all the changes in technology - and hey, TBF, they do come fast/one-after-another, these days. Also, I may be wrong, but I often got the sense she didn't really want to.

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Oh Rose, I have NO doubt that he was talked into it by the Cell Phone rep. As much as I hate to admit it, he's very easily swayed by sales people. Honestly, it's been a miracle that we've not had to deal with any scams yet. He is physically unable to walk to the bathroom without assistance but he went out and purchased a new chainsaw (already had a perfectly good one) AND a ZERO TURN LAWNMOWER!! To be honest, part of it is because he cannot come to terms with his own limitations in life, and part of it is because the sales people see dollar signs when they see him coming. He has a large musical instrument sitting in the garage right now that he just had to have...it has NEVER been touched. He likes things...especially the newest things.  For a long time he was buying a new computer every year when he had a perfectly good one already. He went out and bought a high end flashy car, and then had to put a scooter lift on the back - the thing sits so low to the ground he has trouble crossing railroad tracks. It's the darndest thing I've ever seen. For lack of a better way to phrase it, "The only difference between men and boys is the size and cost of their toys". He likes toys. If its the newest and best, he wants it. It doesn't matter if he needs it. He wanted a DRONE! And a selfie stick. We did manage to talk him out of those thankfully. He wasn't sure what they were but he wanted them lol. 

 

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On ‎2017‎-‎12‎-‎27 at 8:23 PM, RoseRed135 said:

Do you find that modern tech makes communication w/ your family/ILs easier or more complex? And how does it impact, if at all, on family/IL relations?

I most recently come unglued on family for sitting chatting and texting on their Modern Phones while here for dinner. I told them, shut your devices off now, or leave.

You know, you try and gather-up family for a special occasion, and they show up and sit there playing around on their devices. I told them they can do that at home.

Getting together is about sharing and enjoying everyone's company.

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I've announced "tech free" events in my home....partly to get the GK off their tablets, they don't see each other often enough to isolate themselves with gadgets...and partly to get SonIL to be more social...he likes to watch sports on TV...Since he's been working two jobs (the 2nd is umpiring baseball every other weekend, both days), he doesn't get football every Sunday...well, my birthday party was a Sunday this year....DD asked if we could have the TV on for the local game(s)...there are two pro football teams here...I caved...and SIL was very good about the whole thing...volume was low, he didn't yell much and was very social...win-win...and he did most of the kitchen chores at the end...

It's manageable...and requires others be cooperative...

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On 12/27/2017 at 7:23 PM, RoseRed135 said:

Do you find that modern tech makes communication w/ your family/ILs easier or more complex? 

I think that the few bits of technology we understand and use are great. We have phones and can call/text our kids and grands (the ones old enough for phones). We have computers and can work (thus earn), email, skype while away, look up/google and scan stuff. We have sort of locator devices in the kids pockets when they're outside (especially in the snow). We have gps gadgets that we can plug in the cars/truck for directions if we get lost. My husband and brother use gizmos to tell them where they are on the golf course, how far to the hole. No real impact on any ILs, but those things are positive for me, my husband and our kids.

ETA: and the aircard, magnificent.

On 1/2/2018 at 6:45 AM, BlueEyedGirl said:

He went out and bought a high end flashy car....For lack of a better way to phrase it, "The only difference between men and boys is the size and cost of their toys". He likes toys. If its the newest and best, he wants it. It doesn't matter if he needs it. 

BEG, you made me laugh and remember back a few years.   
 
Dad came from dirt poor, he worked his hiney off and eventually was very successful. He must have read the same book as your FIL: "Old Guys Need Fancy Schmancy Cars". He was fortunate enough to be able to purchase several really nice vehicles, but when my brother took the keys - he also garaged the cars. As Dad moved into more severe dementia he wanted his cars back (nag nag nag), he loved cars. Every time my brother needed to calm Dad or explain things to him - he'd drive Dad for hours in a fancy schmancy luxury car and talk. My husband and brother have a sizable collection of vehicles. To qualify for the "old guys car club" they need to switch from 2 seater sports cars to humongous (ugly) American luxury sedans  ;) and that's not yet happened.
Edited by JanelleK
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DH had a vintage 1940 Chevy sedan, suicide doors, running boards, etc...the Gboys love that car. DS has it now...GB#2 refers to it has his "happy place"...can't wait to drive it. When DsD married we took the bride & MOH to the ceremony in the "old car"...a friend of DH's also has a vintage car, he carried the bridesmaids. The "men" took the old car out for photo ops before the wedding...one of my favorites is the little boys standing on the running board all dressed up in their suits.

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