Thursday, January 16, 2014

In Praise of Technology (For Once).

These days, we treat technology like a toxic relationship - we know it's bad for us but we just can't help but overindulge like stage 5 clingers. Right? I mean, every time we turn around there's a story on the Web (ha) about how technology is driving a wedge between actual, flesh-and-blood human beings, profoundly isolating us, ruining the record and magazine industries and making us robots.

But we're logged in, for better or worse. And tonight, I have a few good words to say about technology.

My mother has never been a tech person. Here's an example: Whenever I've tried to text message her phone with a simple message such as "have a good day, mom," she's been known to CALL me back and thank me.

"Thank you for the message! I just got it!" she'll crow.

So, you see, my mom has never quite gotten the hang of modern technology, from smartphones to computers and social media. Until now.

It started when I bought her a tablet for Christmas. I knew that it'd take her a while to get it up and running (it's not like she had wi-fi in the house or anything) but I knew she'd eventually love it. Like any concerned daughter, I nudged her to move forward every day on getting the Internet hooked up and learning how to surf the Web with the best of us.

As of tonight, I'm proud to announce that my mom has a Facebook page. You might wrinkle your nose at that statement. After all, Facebook is a time waster. It is the reason you've whiled away hours talking to someone you've not seen in ten years, rather than doing something adventurous and productive like learning electric guitar riffs. Nevertheless, I'm proud of my mom. When I talked with her tonight (on the regular phone), she sounded happier than she's been in ages - like she had a new project on her hands. Which she does. And I'm thrilled right along with her.

It's refreshing to see things from the perspective of a newbie. We tend to think kids are the only people who can reintroduce us to every day concepts that we've gotten tired of ourselves. But thanks to my mom and her zealous new tablet lessons, I've stumbled onto a secret: to enjoy something you've started to take for granted, teach it to someone else.

Mom and daughters - I tagged her in it! 

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