Ryan Swain was going off to college 700 miles from home - and 700 miles from his grandmother. She was part of the 47% of American seniors who don’t use the Internet regularly, and Ryan didn’t want to fall out of touch.
So, he joined Grandparents Gone Wired and taught his grandmother to use Facebook, Gmail, and Skype. This video even won him $500 to take to college at Howard University - where he stays connected to his upgraded g’ma.
A year later, how is your grandmother thriving with technology now?
She is actually doing fairly well. She still calls me when she needs some help or trying to set up another program. She grasped some of the information I gave her, but she always will have my help if she needs it.
What were some challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
During the time I was teaching her, she had a hard time learning how to make video calls on Skype. Other than that, her email and Facebook are surprisingly active. Ha. As much as she can.
Why do you think it’s important for seniors to be tech savvy?
Because our communication is becoming more digital, and it is important that everyone is up to date with the what's new. We as a generation have an advantage because well we were born in this technological age. My grandparents unfortunately were not. I want my people to be up to date so I made sure that my grandparents are.
Any advice for other young people looking to join this year’s Grandparents Gone Wired campaign?
Have fun, be creative, and don't be afraid to post any and everything (bloopers, interviews, etc.). It's all about the grandparents and making sure they understand. That is the true fulfillment.