Qual-IT Time: The Perfect (and Free) Mother’s Day Gift
When it comes to finding a gift for the maternal figure in your life, it can be extremely difficult to find a meaningful gift that isn’t cliche or played out. The woman who birthed you and cut the crusts off your sandwiches deserves more than the default flowers and a sappy card. This year, you can add us to the list of Thank You notes because we have a genius gift idea that will not only brighten Mom’s day, but will benefit you as well.
Our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts did not grow up with the awesome tech that we did. After decades of doing things the “old fashioned way” they have had to jump some serious learning curves to stay relevant in today’s world. This Mother’s Day, spend some qual-IT time with those you love.
Help them overcome social media faux-pas
We’ve all been the victim of social media abuse by a family member. That one close relative in our life that loves to constantly post on our walls, comment on pictures and tag us in long politically charged spam. We generally accept these annoyances because we know they mean well and just want to check up on us. But let’s stop tolerating and start teaching our loved ones to get the most out of tech.
Sit down with them and explain the difference between a comment and a wall post. Show them how to upload their vacation photos and tag people correctly. Maybe create a family chat group so that communication will stray from public timelines. Let them ask you questions and be patient with them. What seems obvious to you is probably not at all for them. This a completely free gift will not only mean a lot to your mom (who only really wants to spend time with you) but it will prevent future frustrating phone calls.
Introduce them to Facetime or Skype
There is nothing more entertaining then to see a relative discover the wonders of Facetime or Skype for the first time. Countless viral videos have proven that it is not easy for them to turn on the webcam or know where to look so you taking the time to explain it to them can open so many doors. We highly recommend this one, especially if you live far away from your close relatives. Seeing your face on a regular basis to prove that, yes, you are still alive will bring them a lot of comfort.
Download them some helpful apps
Although you may have never thought so, the app store is a daunting place for the un-savvy. If your relative only has the pre-loaded apps on their phones, teach them how to use the app store and download a few that you believe will make their lives easier.
Is your Grandma’s kitchen littered with cook books and recipe boxes? Introduce her to the glory of recipe apps like Food Network in the Kitchen and The Betty Crocker Cookbook.
Does checking out at stores always come to a halt when your Mom has to dig through a deep purse for the credit card she never puts back? Show her how Google Wallet or Apple Pay can simplify her life.
Give mom something to do while she’s waiting for another piano recital to start or during halftime at your game. Ask your mom what kinds of games she would like to have and show her how to download them. The NYtimes Crossword, Color Word Search and Words With Friends would be good places to start. Pro tip: For elderly relatives, disabling in-app purchases might be a smart move.
Patience is Key
No matter what you decide to tackle, patience and tolerance is the most important part of this gesture. Whether they grasp the concepts or not, they will appreciate that you are willingly spending time with them. Teaching them how to be better dialed in to the tech world will be a gift you can both enjoy.