If you want to feel old, ask a teenager for help

Silver surfers can struggle
Silver surfers can struggle
Sian Crips, Georgia Perry and Abi Robinson, from Oaklands School, Waterlooville, celebrating their A-level results. Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170817-140116006

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It is very easy to laugh at my parents unable to use cash machines, understand a mobile phone or manage to order the right amount of sprouts online.

When I was a child and we obtained a VHS player, there was no way my mother, still using an old twin tub washing machine and writing cheques for ‘cash’ at the bank counter, could possibly figure out how to programme the video to record Top Of The Pops for me.

Even now, despite an intensive course for Silver Surfers, she is unable to use a computer for even the simplest of activities.

Sending an email is beyond her understanding and don’t even get started on Googling things.

It has become almost a standard joke amongst others of my age, that our aged parents may be great at making a Victoria sponge and knowing how to dead-head roses, but they are totally rubbish at anything technical.

Oh how we laugh, as we share stories about our folks fumbling around with their mobile phones (if indeed they have such a modern contraption) or inadvertently ordering 15 packs of mushrooms instead of 15 single ones. Ha ha.

But our folks are now getting the last laugh.

Just as we declare that we will never turn into our mothers/fathers, and despite the fact that we are of the computer generation and feel that we are totally capable to embrace new technology, something crops up that completely bamboozles us and we have to resort to desperate measures.

As I am writing this, my 12-year-old son is attempting to…well, actually I am not entirely sure what he is trying to do.

The PS3 is on and he wants to link up with his friend in some way.

Except we are totally ignorant about the PS3 and what is possible.

So what we have had to do is call up his friend and ask him how to do it.

His friend, also 13, has explained clearly what we need to do and helpfully talked us through the process.

Suddenly, I feel like my mother. And that’s not good.

When I have to resort to asking a teenager for technical advice, I know that things are bad.

I can live with the wrinkles, the odd grey hair and the creaky joints.

I am not ashamed that my idea of a good night is collapsing into a sofa, watching something dreadful on the telly and slowly sinking into a feverish sleep whilst dribbling on a cushion.

Not very crazy, I know, but hey, I listen to Radio 4 too. My life was never going to be very rock and roll.

Whatever is going to be next?

Am I going to have to rely on a class of Year 4 children to show me how to pay for my parking using a mobile phone?

Or ask my older daughter’s teenage friends how to use the self-checkout at the supermarket?

I bet they have never had a problem in their bagging area…

So as my life tumbles into a mimicry of my own mother’s, I start to wonder whether it is only a matter of time before I start complaining to strangers about the weather and ordering too many sprouts online.