Dec. 14, 2010 at 2:25 PM ET
If you're like the young, talented and unilaterally photogenic employees of Google, your annual trip home for the holidays is little more than a protracted IT support call.
Your client (i.e. "Mom" or "Dad"), like those who spawned Google employees, "barely knows how to turn on the computer," must be told not to include signatures with every text or bookmark every page visited on the Interwebs, and feels no compunction waking you up in the middle of the night because he or she has misplaced the cursor.
In an effort to save a few holiday hours — and maybe ingrain Google in the minds of your Luddite parents — Google presents the Tech Support Care Package. This simply organized Web site offers a selection of 30 videos that can talk Mom and Dad through the basics of the modern era, thus saving you, the tech-savvy child, from too much face time with the people who gave you life.
Decorated with old-timey Victorian-era, finger-pointing graphics (because yes, your parents are just that old), the website home page features the invite that the site will e-mail to your parents after you've selected the videos appropriate to their current computer skill set.
The Tech Support Care Package offers the basics such as how to cut and paste and change the screensaver, to more sophisticated stuff such as how to transfer files between computers and advanced Internet search tips. Instructions for one of the computer's most basic everyday functions however is glaringly absent — how to use the Facebook.
While neglecting to teach your parents how to friend you on Facebook may seem like Google's very special holiday gift to you, the oversight is more likely about the world's largest search engine not wishing to gift users with tips about its Internet competition, the world's largest social network.
While some might find the sight a bit condescending, those photogenic Google employees are both pleasant and efficient in their video presentations. More importantly, your parents don't drive them crazy.