Technology

Love Note From a Computer Newbie

letter from a senior to her computer teacher

Thank you with all my heart (and more if possible) for the wonderful gift of music you have given me (obviously haven’t mastered the intricacies of Word yet). I spent all last night searching YouTube and “subscribing” to stuff I hadn’t heard in years, except in my mind (as well as some comedy routines that never fail to crack me up).

Again, with all my heart (I could use one of those little emojis right about now!)

Love, [name removed]

P.S. And I even get to watch them!! How could I ask for more!?!
P.P.S. And there are e versions of them — be still my heart!!

This letter, written using Microsoft Word by a woman named Hilli in a senior living home, was posted to the community site Reddit by RayVon Williams, the young man who had taught Hilli pretty much everything she knows about how to use a computer — from handling a mouse to sending an email, going online and, eventually, searching YouTube.

On YouTube, Hilli discovered music videos of tunes she hadn’t heard in years. She was an instant convert. And her appreciation for Williams’ lessons knew no bounds.

“I teach seniors at the senior home how to use computers and the Internet. When I came in today, one of the ladies used MS word to write me this letter,” Williams – who goes by the screen name leanentrep, posted to Reddit.

The post quickly went viral and generated hundreds of comments on Reddit. Some of our favorites:

“Discovering everything on the Internet as an old person has got to be overwhelming and awe inspiring. They’ve spent longer without the ability to quickly find an answer to something, immediately. I remember when my Dad was talking about a band he used to like as a teen, The Ventures. So, 5 minutes later I pulled up YouTube and he sat listening all teary eyed and a bit amazed that this treasure of his (the music) was right in front of him! He was addicted to YouTube quickly thereafter. :)”

“When I showed my grandma street view on Google maps, she went through the small town she grew up in in Georgia. Tears were shed.”

“It’s been interesting watching my Dad discover things as devices/websites have gotten more user friendly. He thought my brothers and I were weird for being so into computers growing up and now he is reconnecting with old friends through Facebook, listening to music he had records of on iTunes, and browsing forums for some of his favorite hobbies. That along with Facetime with his grandkids has got him to understand what I was so excited about growing up.”

“When I went home after graduating college, I taught my >70 year-old dad how to waste time on the internet. Showed him Pandora, then Grooveshark. Showed him (play money) online poker. Now he plays Hank Williams tunes and talks to people on online poker all day long. I have transfered my millenial talent at wasting time on the internet to him.”

“I always remind myself that when most of the people I help with computers (older family members) that they were alive before the moon landing… There are a few generations where the pace of change has been so extraordinarily rapid that I don’t think it’s fair to be mad at them for not totally understanding how to use their computer. They are literally living in what was considered in their youth to be ‘SCI-FI'”

“I’m 36 and I remember reading a “Sci-Fi” short story in grade school about people who ‘buy all their stuff using the computer.’ Most people in class thought that was crazy.”

Connecting with others on hobbyists’ forums, finding your old home — or exploring the world — on Google Street View, streaming music on Pandora, finding friends on Facebook, playing online poker and shopping from home…. Even today’s 30-something-year-olds could not have imagined the breadth of today’s Internet.

What’s been your favorite discovery online?

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