A viral video in the UK this week that featured a “grandfather” trying to unfreeze his computer by using a hairdryer inspired thousands of LOLs and heehees. You probably know a hairdryer is the wrong answer in this case, but before you beat yourself up for not having the right one at your fingertips, just take a look at any video in the hilarious Kids React to Technology series.
Bringing a digital frame of reference to mostly mechanical tools that they’ve never seen let alone used – a rotary phone, a film camera, a cassette recorder – the kids rely on trial and error to try and figure out how to make what’s in front of them work the way it’s supposed to. Their fearlessness is inspiring. Their struggles are instructive. A hairdryer for a frozen computer? Of course, if you’re mechanically minded.
In this episode, the kids meet a manual typewriter. They know what it is – from old movies and antique shops! – but watch them try to load the paper (which they think they’ll find stored inside the machine) or hit a return to move to the next line. “This is hard!” one kid says.
How do the kids feel for the people who lived at a time when there were no computers?
“I feel very sad for them. They can’t FaceTime, they can’t do messages, they can’t play games…” —Lucas, age 6
“I feel so bad for you guys. But you’re probably, like, how do you use this MacBook?” — Jayka, age 11
Watch extra footage from the typewriter episode here.