Broadly-speaking, older people tend to be less tech-savvy and aware than younger generations - which helps explain why a large percentage of older Americans are unaware of the current debate over the future of Net Neutrality in this country. However, many have expressed difficulty in finding the right avenue to explain the concept and its necessity to individuals who have difficulty grasping the intricacies of the issue of "the open internet." So to help everyone out, we've created this simple guide that will help everyone explain Net Neutrality to your grandparents and other older relatives.
1. Use language they're familiar with
Net Neutrality is a complicated issue to communicate if you're not familiar with the specific way the internet works - and with older people tending to be a little less tech-friendly than you or I, they may need things illustrated to them in a manner that they're more comfortable with, so try something like this:
"You know how LAZY those darn Millennials are, right? So lazy! They don't know how to work hard or efficiently - not like their parents did. This whole generation is so SLOW and DISORGANIZED - and if we don't have Net Neutrality, the same thing will happen to the internet.
That's right - FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and internet service providers from across the country are conspiring to turn your internet into...MILLENNIAL INTERNET."
2. Explain the situation clearly and succinctly
While many articles have been written about Net Neutrality and many videos made that explain the situation well, many of them go into too much detail and go on a bit too long. Keep your audience in mind - they may not have the patience to sit through a long-winded technical explanation, so better to keep things concise - and utilize metaphors to paint a clearer picture:
"Right now, every website on the internet works just as HARD and TOUGH as a Baby Boomer - they keep things moving quickly, and no site gets preferential treatment (like Millennials always saying they "deserve" special treatment). But without Net Neutrality, certain sites would be able to pay money to ISPs to have them load faster (just like Millennials pay for PARTICIPATION TROPHIES) and sites not willing to cough up money to ISPs could be punished and given slower load times (just like people who get punished JUST for being born a certain race or gender and lose out to LESS QUALIFIED PEOPLE because of our PC CULTURE and DIVERSITY)."
3. Clarify why this is happening and what is at stake
It may feel unclear exactly why this is such a big deal to people with less of a firm grasp on the current state of the internet and the practices of ISPs.
Under Net Neutrality, ISPs are not allowed to discriminate - all traffic to all sites would be treated fairly and equally (like things USED TO BE, before these MILLENNIALS AND THEIR WHINING). But if Net Neutrality is done away with, ISPs (Internet Service Providers - aka Internet Snowflake Punks!) would be able to treat you and your internet however they felt like - charging everyone, from individual sites to users, more money in exchange for the same or worse service (just like KIDS TODAY, WANTING MORE MONEY FOR LESS WORK!!!). We cannot let that happen.
So now the responsibility is ours (since Millennials don't know the meaning of the word "responsibility") to keep the FCC from destroying Net Neutrality and turning our Solid, Hard-Working Internet into Millennial Internet.
4. Tell them what they can do to make their voices heard
Lastly, after you've explained Net Neutrality in full in this manner, there's a good chance they will want to know what they as individuals can do to help.
"Visit https://www.battleforthenet.com/ to join the fight to save Net Neutrality by having your grandson Billy come over and help you type it into the Google (he's so good at computers). After all he doesn't visit enough as it is. His whole generation is lazy but he's a good boy. His mother shouldn't let him play those violent videogames though. Also have him show you how to get the emails to show up right and fix it so there won't be so many. Oh those Dress Barn emails are fine, leave them alone, I want to know when they've got a sale going on."
Illustrated by George Rottkamp.