Almost nine out of every 10 UK grandparents claimed their grandchildren failed to ask them for advice for simple tasks, instead turning to online channels such as Google, YouTube and Wikipedia for information.
Answers on how to boil an egg, iron a shirt and even details on their own family history are now easily found by younger generations glued to their smartphones, tablet computers or laptops, according to research commissioned by cleaning products firm Dr Beckmann.
“Grandparents believe they are being sidelined by Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and the huge resource of advice available on the internet,” spokeswoman Susan Fermor said in a statement…
The survey of 1,500 grandparents also found that children chose to research what life was like for their elderly relatives in their youth rather than asking the grandparents themselves, with just 33 percent of grandparents having been asked: ‘What was it like when you were young?’.
Almost two-thirds of grandparents felt their traditional roles were becoming less and less important in modern family life, with 96 percent claiming that they asked far more questions of their own grandparents when they were young.
I’m not sure how valid this survey is but assuming the results are good, I think the key is in the last paragraph of the story. It is isn’t necessarily the Internet or Google or another website that is causing trouble. These new technologies are part of a larger society that grandparents believe doesn’t have much room for them. On one hand, this may be a common complaint of grandparents: people in the newer generations aren’t paying enough attention to them. This could be backed up by 96% saying they were more likely to question their grandparents. On the other hand, perhaps this is evidence of significant shift away from learning from one’s elders and turning to digitized information sources. Why go through the trouble of asking a human being when you can just watch a YouTube video or type a sentence into Google? Either way, grandparents still have these perceptions.