All across the world right now older people and technology are coming together with hilarious consequences.
Last night we Facetime-d two of our elderly relatives in their mid-eighties who have been in complete lockdown now for two weeks.
All set up we were with our tablet on the coffee table both of us perfectly framed in the little window in the top left waiting for them to answer.
They picked up the call eventually on their mobile, no image yet, lots of muttering and a distracted hello. Soon enough a confused fuzzy full face appears on the screen understandably unprepared for the call, hair looking particularly unkempt and the unkind lighting making her look all of her 86 years.
The usual pleasantries are exchanged and then we ask where the man of the house is. Forgetting this is a video call the phone is spun round and we can hear her shout him which he answers in his own good time with a muffled expletive.
He eventually appears and briefly his ghostly face comes into view and we catch up for a while. Then in an attempt to get them both in view they place the phone precisely half-way between them so all we can see are their green lounge curtains in the middle.
Despite all this they are so loveably hopeless that I couldn’t help but notice a warm feeling inside about them. It’s certainly better to see them this way fleetingly than not at all.
Then they realise they should have picked up the call on their tablet so they try and ring us from that while we’re still on the phone to them. By mistake they ring up their daughter instead so we ended up talking to her on the tablet.
Soon it was time for the chaotic call to come to an end so we bid farewell to our elderly relatives and their curtains.
If only we’d have recorded it I’m sure we could have uploaded it to YouTube and made a small fortune as it goes viral. A 15 second clip of their bickering while we looked at the curtains could have easily become the next TikTok sensation.
It’s good really they are using the technology at all. My similarly aged Dad was set up on Skype a couple of weeks back and I’m yet to make a successful call through it. I’ve given up now and just use the landline.
The whole experience made me wonder whether the UK cabinet are having the same sort of problems with video technology, might explain the mess we’re in!