Skip to main content

Technology is already very small, extremely fast and immensely impressive.
Now comes the revolution of its use.
A revolution so powerful, even your Grandma might see the point of it!

granny on ipad
An old lady, presumably a grandma, using an iPad.

Incredibly, despite having avoided all technology for her entire life, my grandma can use an iPad.

My grandma is not a ‘PC pensioner’*. She has never used a computer, never tapped at a keyboard, scrolled a mouse or thumbed an SMS. Ever. And yet, she flicks her way through an iPad photo slideshow and around Google maps without so much as a hint from me.

I remember my 7 year-old self tackling the futility of explaining my Mario Gameboy game to grandma. Was Gameboy really that much harder to understand? What’s changed?

Presented with an iPad holiday photo set, grandma asks us with complete curiosity how the photo appeared there. Optimistically, Dad’s reply starts “so my brother has a digital camera, from which he which transfers photos to his computer, then he attaches the photo to an email and sends it so that I can download and…” before realising that he may as well say ‘new fangled technology’ and be done with it.

But we’re amazed when against all odds she picks up the play/pause, swipe/tap concept almost instantly.

Educating The Indifferent


Libraries nationwide have been doing their best to explain computers to the older generation in clearer terms. “Spend one hour learning how to roam the digital world” the large-lettered posters say, and “Explore your passions online: Sports… Culture… Bingo!”.

Partly it’s the younger generations’ desire to share our own technological joy, but there are also pressing worries that national digitalisation will be hampered by Nana Gladys’s inability to pay her paper-less gas bill, or check the bus timeable.

Indifference remains a tricky opponent.

Silly Young Human Swipes a Magazine

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, there’s the somewhat startling unnamed 1 year-old who presses, swipes and ‘pinch gestures’ magazines as if they were an iPad. Let’s enjoy watching the silly little girl on youTube, shall we?


Children have long been weaned on mouse clicks, but have you ever seen a toddler clicking their juice bottle? Probably not. The reason unnamed 1 year-old swipes her magazine is the same reason my grandma can use an iPad slideshow; because technology has truly begun to emulate physical reality.

Technology Becomes a No-Brainer

Our older generation needn’t learn the technological intricacies of macOS or Internet Service Provider Firewalls when technology is learning how to become a no-brainer. (Or at least less of a brainer than reading a magazine, according to unnamed 1 year-old’s actions.)

Digital diaries, for example, were once the realm of super-business-geeks, but now resemble… actual diaries, with pages, different coloured pens and space for notes. Technology, then, will not evolve beyond comprehension for those who missed its genesis, but actually return to their world of tangibility.

Let’s take the example from earlier, where Dad tried to explain a photo transfer. Simple as they now seem to us, Why should my grandma learn the words “transfer”, “email”, “attach” and “download” when new technology will act so ‘magically’ as to make the whole process intuitive?

1 – Touch the camera to your computer screen.
2 – All of your photo film rolls will appear.
3 – Drag the roll you want onto the lightbox.
4 – Your whole screen will turn into a slideshow for you to enjoy.

Drag photos off your camera screen to your computer.

In this process of of picture management, none of the language is technical, none of the action are complex. Everything about the process, in fact, is instantly intuitive.

Intuitive Interactions

So as we reach technological limits for size, quality, speed, intuitive interactions between human and technology will be the next advancement. As improbable as it may have seemed once, this next step could be one that even my grandma enjoys.


Nana (somebody’s) joined Facebook.


*[Q: Could my grandma be described as a PC pensioner? A: No, she swears incessantly. (Too many Christmas cracker jokes and re-runs of Morecambe and Wise have adversely affected my sense of humour.)]


Leave a Reply