Tech geeks have always been in high demand

I SUPPOSE I should be grateful for the fact that, when my marriage ended many years ago and I was left to raise a two-year-old child largely on my own, I decided to retrain for a new profession.

That decision to become a graphic designer at the time when computers were just being introduced as a tool has kept me in touch with new technology.

Recently, three weeks of couchsurfing at various houses of good friends (who, I hope, are still friends) while waiting for my new home to be available showed me that I am both lucky and cursed having knowledge of the current shiny object of desire, be it a smartphone, tablet or television.

It seemed as though my gracious hosts had been saving up all their questions for months, secure in the knowledge that I was on my way and would be able to hook up their new Bluetooth handsfree in the car, video streaming device or digital video recorder to their smart tv, or explain a pesky problem with their emails on their iPad.

My neighbours were actually in a mad panic from the day they learned I was relocating and cornered me every time I showed my face to fine tune their various digital experiences.

However, looking back, it was ever thus; my parents had their educations cut short by the Depression and were occasionally hard pressed to comprehend manuals for various appliances and vehicles.

For years, my father would mail me the instructions on how to tune in the radio in a new car and I would have to talk him through it over the phone, as he had no trouble following directions delivered in that way.

The years after he bought a video recorder were a mini-nightmare; he was not a stupid man by a long shot, but he never grasped the concept of being able to watch one program on the television while being able to record something else entirely.

If mum and dad were going out for a meal and wanted to program the VCR to record the football while they were absent, it would mean a lengthy phone call while I tried to recall where the buttons were on their remote so I could tell them exactly which buttons to push and in which sequence.

Eventually I learned to buy exactly the same model so I could make the task easier.

So it was a novel experience as my son and daughter-in-law visited over Easter to help me wrestle furniture into place in my new home when, after watching me set up my audio-visual gear, my professional video-editor baby gently suggested I do it in an entirely different way and explained the benefits.

And blow me down, he was right.