Another pair of tech-unsavvy seniors dazzles YouTube

It's becoming a genre in its own right: Adorable senior couples charming the heck out of a Webcam as they seek to overcome anything-but-obvious software interfaces. Rita and Frank, meet Bruce and Esther.

You must admit, it is a pretty good monkey. Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

It's becoming a genre. Adorable senior couples get their charming faces into a Webcam as they seek to overcome software interfaces designed by little boys who have seen neither abacus nor, indeed, a razor.

Rita and Frank, meet Bruce and Esther.

Here, we even have subgenres, as we veer toward PG-13. Yes, Grandpa Bruce lets rip with an impressive belch--and later gropes his wife.

But even that might not be the most memorable part of this endearing and disarming video, which, of course, is reminiscent of an earlier turn by the now Net-famous Rita and Frank.

For all those (and I am not specifically referring to anyone employed by Google) who believe that all gadgets are made for gadgeteers, this video ought, once and for all, to serve as a sobering window onto, well, the lives of real people.

It's not just that real people burp and grope. Real people pick up gadgets often with trepidation, spiced with a little hope that they will succeed in pressing the right button to get a desired effect.

This couple, Bruce and Esther Huffman of McMinville, Ore., might be of advanced years, but they're not of diminished mind. They stare at their screen and wonder what the words they see might mean. And their honest confusion has already been enjoyed by about 2 million people on YouTube. (Here's the video. I'll include Rita and Frank's at the bottom of this post, so you can play Dueling Adorable Seniors on Webcam.)

Like Rita and Frank, this lovely pair had no idea that their first and very close encounter with a Webcam was being recorded.

"Warning: You must stop recording before trying to close. Cyberlink," Mrs. Huffman repeats, as she sees the words come up on the screen.

To many reading this, those words might be obvious. And yet, as she points out: "But I don't know what I'm recording."

"You have lines on your forehead too," says her husband, engrossed in what the Webcam is showing them.

"I'm going to have more if I don't know how to...I don't know how to do this," replies his wife.

"You'll learn. It'll take time," he reassures her, without for a moment believing that he knows any better than she does.

"Honey, I don't know what to do," she replies.

Some believed this video was a set-up. That was until the Huffmans gave an interview to MyFox Phoenix. Look how they did it, via Skype.

It was their granddaughter who had seen the recording and decided the world should see her grandparents' first steps into a technological wilderness. The Huffmans had never even heard of YouTube.

Perhaps the most moving part of the video, though, is the ease with which the Huffmans interact with each other. As younger generations burp and grope their way to meeting love objects on the Web, checking off their wish lists of attributes--physical, mental and financial--here are two people so clearly delighted just to be with each other.

It's good to know that real, unelectronic human interaction is still possible.

The MyFox Pheonix interview, followed, as promised, by Rita and Frank's "Did You Hear a Click?"

Video: Webcam 101 for Seniors: MyFoxPHOENIX.com

 

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