by Ian Kilbride*
I am officially a technophobe I know this because my lovely teenagers tell me this every time I show any IT ignorance, or fail to operate the latest twit, twot or What’s Up correctly! Yes “What’s Up”, why, because of the delicious pleasure that is derived in watching the teenagers writhe in their superior techno agony when I say it out loud. I get off on “using the Google,” or my real favourite “I just got off the World Wide Web!”
You see Dad’s take great pleasure in torturing their children, and often their wives as well, by being that dumb, daft and safe old Dad.
But then we are also secure, reliable, old school and stereotypical. Who, after all, wants a Dad who likes their music, understands the latest trends, wears really cool gear or worst of all goes out and “out sports” their children? Certainly no child that I know, or one that I ever was. My Dad proclaimed to hate “videos”, detested “Echo and the Bunnymen” and positively recoiled at the idea of the metrosexual male, or the “New Romantics” as we so preposterously called ourselves back in 1984.
Dad’s go to “Dad college”, we learn on the knee of our own Dad’s and we understand what makes everyone feel safe and also suitably modern. In a nutshell what everyone wants is a Dad stuck in yesterday, a Dad they can feel chronologically superior to, a Dad with safe hands and no idea about bleeding edge technology, no swearing intended. We also cannot do many jobs about the house, this is to make Mums look and feel smarter, and we definitely need to be told to do things at least five times before we do them, because that makes us worse than even the children, who can then point this out to Mum with great relish!
About every month or so I ask, very matter of factly, when the music is playing, “who is singing this tune on the radio?” They will all jointly scream the name of some infinitely famous person and I will cause yet more mayhem with, “I think they will make it, have they ever had a number one?” The “Oh my God’s”, the “Where do you live”, and “What planet are you from Dad” and overall lighthearted general derision (it works very well with Taylor Swift, for some strange reason) means only that normal transmission has been resumed, in other words Dad’s an idiot, Dad is here and we are all safe and sound.
Yes Dads are technophobes, yes we are useless about the house, yes we are in a time warp, but we also know that is exactly what the family need. That way they can all help to sort the old man out, while at the same time feeling assured that all is well with the world!
*Ian Kilbride is the Chairman of Warwick Wealth and the Spirit Foundation.