The word "grandparent" used to be synonymous with "font of knowledge," someone who could be called upon to pass down treasure troves of information to new generations.
But that was before. Today, with technology seeping into every aspect of our lives grandparents have started to grow obsolete, according to a bleak new survey. Indeed, almost two-thirds of grandparents feel that their role is being usurped by Google, Wikipedia and YouTube -- the almighty advice gurus kids now turn to for traditionally grandparent-y advice on everything from history to recipes.
A survey by British cleaning company Dr. Beckmann questioned 1,500 British grandparents and found that less than one in four of those surveyed had been approached for advice on domestic matters such as sewing, laundry or even family recipes. Only one in five grandparents said they had ever been asked how to boil an egg by their grandkids, according to reports in "The Telegraph" and various British newspapers.
An unexpectedly low number of grandparents -- only about one-third -- had been asked "What was it like when you were young?" as more kids turn to the World Wide Web to gain historical insight.
When asked how the interactions between themselves and their grandchildren compared to their own experience of being a kid, almost all grandparents -- or 96 percent -- said they recall asking their grandparents far more questions in the past and before the Internet became such an integral part of people's lives. In general, a majority of those surveyed felt their role as grandparents was becoming obsolete in the modern world.
"Grandparents believe they are being sidelined by Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and the huge resource of advice available on the Internet," spokeswoman Susan Fermor said in a written statement.
"They are aware that their grandchildren, already with their noses buried in a laptop, tablet computer or smartphone, find it much easier to search the Internet for instant advice," she said.
Research shows that American kids have garnered an online history by the time they're 2 years old. By the age of 5, more than half regularly interact with a computer or tablet device.
But the news isn't all bad for grandparents. Another recent study by the University of Oxford questioned more than 1,500 children and found that those with a high level of grandparental involvement displayed fewer emotional and behavior problems.
And -- even though it may be easier to find out how to remove a spaghetti sauce stain from your shirt on Google than by calling grandma -- other studies show that grandparents are more important than ever, with one in 10 kids in the United States now living with a grandparent.
Take that Google!