Thursday, July 31, 2008

Technological Breakthroughs

I'm really proud of my mom. Her computer skills are improving slowly but surely, and she's daring to do more by herself.

Once was, she would see any unfamiliar option on the screen, and immediately her brain would go into a state of panicked paralysis. Now she's actually exploring on her own, clicking through drop-down menus to see what her options are, running software updates, and surfing the internet late into the night.

Of course there's still room for improvement, but the biggest difference is that she's actually enjoying using the computer now, at least some of the time.

She's most comfortable with e-mail, having learned how to do forwards, add people to her address book, and even (this was a very intimidating concept only a few weeks ago) send attachments. Look out world - Red Hot Computer Skillz coming through!

Last night she called me when she couldn't get her e-mail working. I did tech support while she ran back and forth between the computer and the phone in the kitchen. She doesn't own a wireless phone, unless you count the cell phone which she just got a few weeks ago.

Last time I was over, I had to point out to her that her cell phone would be most useful if she carried it with her, in her handbag, instead of leaving it lying on a bookshelf where it had been gathering dust since she bought it. Now I do believe she keeps it in her purse, although I'm not sure if she's ever turned it on.

So, last night, after she'd been running back and forth for half an hour, I suggested that next time she might want to call me from her cell phone so that she could sit in front of the computer and talk to me on the phone at the same time. I know she likes to stay in shape, but the back-and-forth got tedious after the 20th round-trip.

That kind of blew her mind: the way in which I suggested she use these two unfamiliar pieces of technology at the same time for maximum efficiency. I'm confident that she's up to the challenge of cell phoning and computing simultaneously. She's a smart lady.

I wonder what technology she'll embrace next? One of these days will I show up at the house to find her rocking out to Guitar Hero? It could happen.


just a girl... said...

I will be honest I haven't even read this. The HELLO KITTY photo had me mesmerized. I love hello kitty. fellow 30 somethinger here.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

ROLMAO... When you described telling you mom to use the cell phone and computer at the same time I had this vision from the movie Scanners where this guys head explodes... Ummm not that that should make me laugh.... hmmmm... I think I should explore that in therapy.

Jenski said...

Wow! Go your Mom! Maybe you should just get her Guitar Hero for your own amusement. :)

Logan said...

Have a video camera handy somehow when you show her remote support w/ Back to my Mac or (works w/ Macs now). Most of my tech-savvy clients are repeatedly "Oh! You're controlling it!" when they've _asked_ for the remote help.

Blow her mind, you will. But in a good way.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Good going for Mom!

jameil1922 said...

"That kind of blew her mind: the way in which I suggested she use these two unfamiliar pieces of technology at the same time." lol. i'm glad she's getting acclimated! and if she rocks out to guitar hero, she'll be beating me to that one!

mex (aka Syb) said...


I TOTALLY understand yr mama's paranoia (sp?)

I am amazed at this cell phone thing stuff, texting.. all of it

On another note.. That blawg award thing.. Whoa... seems dauntingly HARD!

All that linking and what not! See? I am like she (yo mutha!)


PLUS. How do you get the graphic for the award.

If I can, I may Just do my own take on it.. (the award).. coloUring outside the lines, as per usu


Karen said...

How funny! I didn't even think they still made phones that weren't cordless. Your mom is doing awesome!

Anonymous said...

So... You don't like the old time bicycles... Hmm...

Play the piano music!

Dianne said...

This was a fun read!

First of all - Go Mom!

As for the cell phone - my son leaves me voice mail on it and it's always the same message:

"Ma! Ma! the point of this phone is to have it ON - didn't I raise you better than this?"

I hate the thing and only carry it in case my ancient car breaks down.

Wait til Mom wants a laptop!! LOL

San said...

This post about your mom makes me smile because it reminds me of the way I was maybe 15 years ago. From time to time, my daughter will remark, "To think Mom was the family member who used to be the most intimidated by computers and now she can do anything on a computer!" She exaggerates, but yes, I recently taught myself to redesign a website! I'm proud.

Sparkling Red said...

just a girl: You're never too old for Hello Kitty. ;-)

Ron: I haven't seen Scanners, but I can imagine. I find the image funny too. So if you're crazy for thinking it, I am too.

Jenski: It's got to be that or Dance Dance Revolution. ;-)

Logan: She already had a similar experience when I opened a chat window with Apple support to get her e-mail set-up working. She saw words appearing on the screen, being typed by another human far away, and her eyes got very big.

Keera: :-) Yes, thumbs up!

Jameil: If I had to place bets I wouldn't put money on that happening anytime soon. Your position as technologically superior is secure. ;-)

Syb: Indeed, the award posts are quite an administrative challenge. You can get the award by right-clicking on it and choosing "Save Picture As..." Then save it onto your hard drive and upload it back up onto your own blog. Or colour outside the lines - its all good. :-)

Karen: My mom would be well advise to get a cordless phone considering the cats like to chew on the phone cord!

Unsigned: What?

Dianne: At least you have voice mail on your cell phone! Honestly, I use my cell phone the same way - I keep it off and carry it in case of an emergency. I come from the last generation to consider cellphones as unessential to having a fulfilling social life.

San: That's awesome! I give you a standing ovation. I don't even know how to redesign a website (unless you count paying someone else to do it for me).

Aurora said...

Yes, those are some snazzy lines there you wrote about your mom exploding the horizons of computer-savvy ability! What a nice moment in your relationship with her, too!

Nicole said...

Your Mom rocks :D!