We are all familiar with them. Those cute grand papis and mamis. The ones that are so adorable in their naivete that you can’t help but love the crap out of them even if there is absolutely no blood ties or any other form of relation or friendship. They are instant internet gold with people flocking to their post to laugh a little at these old farts attempting to use today’s technologically advanced devices like computers.
I read an article from 2011 on Yahoo! News titled “Senior Citizens Accidentally Become Web Sensations and A Lost Colorado Cat Found In New York.” I guess it was a two-for-one deal. I didn’t read about the cat, because I had had plenty to feel sickened by reading about and then watching this old couple mismanaging their computer video camera. Supposedly their granddaughter found the video in the computer and posted it to YouTube where it became an instant hit.
Being that it was touted as a must-see vid, I clicked on the link and saw the torturous three minute thing. There was absolutely nothing of comedic value in it. Maybe just a tinge of cuteness that would merit sharing with their family and friends on some social networks. And to be fair, I guess that is exactly what the granddaughter had intended. It’s just that we, the general public out there in the cyber world are so bored and lacking in worthwhile activities on our time off that we would view a video of two poor computer illiterate senior citizens and laugh our butts off and share everywhere.
When did our elders become a joke? Why is it that in our society old age is not valued for its true contribution, but instead is something to laugh at and in some warped idea of reality treated as something that we ourselves will never be. The folks on that video, Bruce and Esther, became celebrities because of this video. But why? There was no craft to it. No grace, but the couple’s personalities. Yet their personalities didn’t make them a sensation. It was the fact that they are old and inadvertently recorded themselves looking clueless as to how to operate a computer program.
Put two young people of the same personality type in front of a computer program which is absolutely new to them and have them go at it without any training and you get the same result. Two people trying to navigate through unfamiliar territory. Hardly any hits on YouTube, though.
As for Bruce and Esther, they’ve gone on to post a part 2 to their video on YouTube. It seems they’re happy to be the brunt of jokes. Maybe they have something to gain other than celebrity status (currently they have amassed 11,435,218 views). Clearly people are still watching these videos, perhaps because they read in some science journal that laughter is the best treatment in warding off the onslaught of old age.