Grandma VS the T.V (& other technologies)

Paper Collage By Angela Zafiris

How did the animals get in the television set?  How did the ocean get in there?  How did those people get in there?  Don’t those people sleep? These are the many questions that my ninety-something year old grandmother has asked me repeatedly over the years. I say ninety something because it’s hard to keep up with the math. No one is really sure if she was even born in the year 1919 [A.D].  I know it’s strange. It’s a long story.  But, I can’t tell you how many times she asks me the above questions every time I sit on the couch to watch t.v.   How does one explain to an old woman how the television works, when you can’t figure out how it works? Many people will probably suggest that she is inquisitive about the television because she has Alzheimer’s-“she’s old that’s what  her problem is”.  Well, no I’m the one with the Alzheimer’s because I can’t remember what I ate yesterday and there is something that I have to do but I can’t remember what it is; I should have written it down. Believe or not my grandma can recite poetry that she learned from ELEMENTARY school!!   My grandmother was raised in a small  Greek village.  Many families didn’t have televisions sets until the 1980’s.  My cousins had the first colour t.v. and all the kids in the village would come over to watch the American soap operas. However, at that time my  grandma payed very little attention to the ‘box’ in the living room. She would pass by it every day and shun it like it was an ugly piece of furniture.  This went on for years.    Her ignorance of the many things that we take for granted fascinates and intrigues me. How can it be that a grandmother, who can’t turn on a t.v and is ignorant of all technologies,  have a granddaughter who loves her technology?  I have my digital camera,  iPod  nano, flat screen t.v.,  laptop, I even know how to set up wireless internet (!), and of course, create a blog.  We were born in the same century.  But,  the 20th century was quite unique in that it was more like four centuries in one.  Since technologically has progressed so quickly can you imagine how the future will be like in only twenty years?  We will be riding in flying cars, a robot will dress us and do our grocery shopping.  Our children or grandchildren will go on vacation in space to see various planets and stars. Oh my!

 In order to avoid my grandma’s questions about some tech-gadget I have I hide it from her. When I had my digital camera in my hand and I told her that she looked good in the photos she looked at me puzzled and with her eyebrows scrunched down she said “how did you get the photos so quickly’? Her reaction would have been the same as that of a time traveler from the past. If someone from the beginning of the last century were to see the Walkman, Discman and then iPod he would say, ‘ how did that music  (or noise)come out of that metallic thing  that you can put in your pocket?’  But, when my grandma makes that face I feel sorry for her at that moment, because she looks like she is about to have another stroke. So I hide the tech-gadgets from her. To avoid the questions I can’t answer and it’s just safer that way.  In her last days, months or even years, she really doesn’t need to know or see any more unusual metal things from this earth. I say years because she might reach a hundred years old, and maybe by then she will understand how the television works-and maybe I will too.



    1. i have enjoyed reading some of your stuff…your grandmother sounds like my Grandmother and Aunts that live in

  1. yes it is remarkable how at the age they reach we both can see what is happening and the CHANGE – they remind us of how different and perhaps even frightening things are getting. I hope she never gets it though – lol – truly enjoying this

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