The newest thing to become obsolete in this fast moving world of technology is none other than your sweet, little old grandparents. According to a UK study, less than one in four grandparents claim to have been asked advice on domestic chores such as learning to cook family recipes, sewing on a buttons or tying ties. Only one third of grandparents said that they had been asked by their grandchildren about what life was like when they were young, mostly because young people are increasingly turning to internet resources like Google, Wikipedia and YouTube to answer their questions about anything from how to make borscht to what it was like to grow up during WWII.
The survey, commissioned by UK cleaning specialist Dr Beckmann, used a sample size of 1,500 grandparents and found that "Grandparents believe they are being sidelined by Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and the huge resource of advice available on the internet...They are aware that their grandchildren — already with their noses buried in a laptop, tablet computer or smartphone — find it much easier to search the Internet for instant advice."
These findings are heartbreakingly sad, especially for those of us with kind and intelligent grandparents with a wealth of experiences in their pasts. Few Google searches will offer up the same satisfaction as sitting down with your grandmother one afternoon and talking about what it was like for her to grow up during the Great Depression or ride the buses to Birmingham — but, at the same time, Google's house doesn't smell weird and it rarely guilts you about calling not calling enough. Still, I don't think the internet is generally a worthy exchange for interactions with another human being. "My Google fought in Korea," "My Google abandoned my mom when she was 10" and "My Google is well intentioned, but can occasionally be a little racist" doesn't quite have the right ring to it.