The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

My Cybermom

Posted by thearrow on November 12, 2011

One of the best things I did when I was in Romania was to buy a laptop for my parents; a purchase long overdue. I had not seen them in three and a half years and just wanted them to get on the interwebs so that we could Skype, email, they could read newspapers and explore this whole fascinating world out there. Not a small thing for retirees entrenched in their routines.

They resisted the idea for a while, thinking oh, we’re too old, we’ve never touched a computer, we’re not going to understand anything, etc. I told them I’m not interested in the reasons why they don’t think it’s a good idea.

I spent a few good hours here and there to show them how to navigate folders, how to search on Google, how to send an email and download pics from one, all very carefully documented in tremendous detail in a big notebook. It felt like explaining this to Martians. I wrote stuff like, “in the corner of the window there’s an X; click on it if you want to close the window.” Or, to send an email, click on “Compose Email,” which is even more interesting because Yahoo! has a Romanian version, so my mom didn’t even have to understand a foreign language. I talked to her again today and, because she hadn’t sent an email in two-three weeks, she forgot that she had to click on “Compose Email.” Beginner’s anxiety. Now she has to write me emails regularly. That’s an assignment.

But she’s clearly interested in learning, which is very exciting. Two weeks ago I taught her how to search for funny videos on YouTube, by using the word “funny” (in English,) and she had a blast with it. Last week she said, “I’ve watched all the funny videos I could find, so I’m tired of them now. I want to get to the next level: How can I read blogs?”

I thought I was going to fall off the chair. My mom wants to read blogs?? She doesn’t even know what a blog is! So I told her that, like with Google and YouTube, you have to know what you’re looking for first. Did she have a blog in mind? Turns out she did. So I told her a bit about blogs, showed her how to search for them, and I’m now waiting for my update on where she ran with this in the mean time. She asked me if I have a blog and was disappointed to hear that it’s in English.

Yesterday, she just wrote me the following: “I’m absolutely astonished by how much I have to learn. I noticed that the more I know, the more I want to learn, but I don’t have anyone to show me. You do show me quite a bit, but there’s never enough time.”

I only have one thing to say, Wow! Of course, I’m delighted she’s so into it, which I never expected. I thought she was only going to be interested in Skype. I should get ready for the day she friends me on Facebook.


5 Responses to “My Cybermom”

  1. Andrea said

    I bet that day is not so far in the future.

  2. thearrow said

    I’m sure you’re right. She just needs to get a bit more comfortable; she’s heard of it, of course. I know other friends’ moms are there.

  3. Departe said

    So you went with a laptop instead of a burial place! Good choice 🙂 Your post reminded me of the best illustration of parents struggling with technology – do a google search for “fata care rade” and send them the youtube link, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

  4. Departe said

    it’s actually “fata galbena care rade”…..

  5. thearrow said

    Ha haaa! Thanks. It’s hilarious! I didn’t know about it. I’ll post it on the blog soon. And yes, I’ll send it to my mom.

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