The Russians and Technology

My husband’s family is stuck in the 1950’s as far as a lot of things go (the American 1950’s I should add).

Their morals, their social expectations, their fear of technology, their social structure. Probably their fear of nuclear bombs, although I don’t know for sure.

I don’t want you to think all Russians are like this. We have a cousin in Russia who is a computer wiz. I mean really he is good and he’s only like 18.. Moscow seems like a really hoppin place – very modern and very up to date with the modern age.

But for the record, my parents-in-law are like Ward and June Cleaver without the cuteness. Before coming to America my MIL had NEVER worn pants. In her life. She also doesn’t know how to drive and relies on male family members to take her places. She was afraid to touch the new laptop he bought a month or two ago because she might break it. Now she can get on it some and wants to try to learn to drive. Also she wears pants sometimes. Even out of the house and not to work.

Here is a mental picture of my FIL with his laptop: he carries it around the house/yard while he is on skype with people back home to show them the house. In fact, just today he brought it out in front of the house and showed his sister in law the bus that my son rides to school. The bus driver and aide thought he was filming them or something. Can you imagine looking out your bedroom window and seeing this old Russian man standing in front of the neighbor’s house with his giant (it’s the biggest laptop I’ve ever seen) laptop computer pointed at the school bus? This is my life, people. This really happens.

So, my FIL bought a laptop recently, because he wanted to be able to get on it whenever he wanted – ours is a desktop and in our bedroom. He wanted to do Rosetta Stone on it and likes to watch Armenian music videos on youtube. Yeah. Mostly he “learns English” and talks to people back home on it.

My husband isn’t real technologically sound either. He never had a computer, never learned how to type. He can get on and do what he needs to, but it is slow and boring to him.

So I get to take care of all the computer stuff in our house. I’m no computer wiz, but I can get a computer set up, change the desktop, etc.

Last night my FIL was freaking out because one of the icons on his desktop disappeared. Actually 2 but he figured out how to find one in the start menu. Now he is having some problem with a few programs. Mostly skype and ooVoo which is like skype. I told him it might be that the internet is slow today or that the satellite signal in Russia (they often use satellite internet there) might be weak. They just keep saying it’s “bad” because the computer is only a month old and they are already having problems with it. They don’t understand there can be problems with the actual program and have nothing to do with your computer. Or with the internet, or with your wireless connection, or with a million other things. They just automatically assume that their computer is bad.

PS, if you type “Armenian Music” into youtube you get “about 57,200 results”. Just for the record. It all sounds the same to me, except the rap, but apparently some people can hear the difference. Mostly Armenians I am guessing.


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