As you may know – four days a week my Mom, aka Grandma Margie, is here hanging with Dee and me so I can get work done. And, well…yesterday Grandma was feeling quite badly for having sent a few of her nearest and dearest “free movie tickets” via HomeRun.com (which, for what it’s worth, isn’t a scam or anything…it just is what it is – a new deal site attempting to collect email addresses in exchange for free movie tickets) and that one of her girlfriends, in turn, had accidentally invited her entire address book, both business and personal, to join her at the movies and was less than psyched about the occurrence.
So there I was, trying to explain to my poor guilt-ridden mother, how it was exactly that her friend had come to forward the invite to her entire email address book without realizing it, and that NO, despite her friend being embarrassed, it was NOT a worm or a virus my Mom had sent that was responsible, it was simple, common, totally understandable, user error.
Because the sneaksters behind the internet design things for you to opt OUT instead of IN, it occurred to me while trying to quell my Mom’s concerns that chances are most recreational internet users, especially those who were well into adulthood by the time Prodigy and AOL brought the world wide web to the masses, are constantly falling victim to things that we GenX/Millenials (if you follow me on twitter you know I have no idea where I belong, but that’s another post in and of itself) take completely for granted in our daily internet travels.
And then yesterday evening my Dad called me, my Mom having relayed to him some of the information I’d shared with her earlier in the day, genuinely asking if I could find some time this weekend to sit down with them and basically, give them a little crash course on the pitfalls of the internet. Which of course I was happy to do. But then when I woke up butt crack early this morning and started to write some thoughts down? It occurred to me that if my parents need this guidance, chances are there are other baby boomers out there who could benefit too, no? So what started as an email to my Mom and Dad became this pamphlet that I thought maybe you guys might want to print out and snail mail to your internet un-savvy parents as well. (I kid, I kid.) Sure, your parents will probably think I’m a dick if they actually read my little document, but at least they won’t invite their entire office to join them on FourSquare, right?
Click HERE to download.
Did I miss anything important? Anything else our parents need to know so they don’t get eaten alive online?