This Sunday is Mother's Day and though my mom will get a card and a call from yours truly, she'll also find a post on her Facebook wall. Yes, my mom is on Facebook, and I'm sure a lot of your parents are too! This time last year I never would have thought I'd be emailing my mom more than phoning her, but that's the case and her MacBook is to
For years my mom questioned what this whole internet thing had to offer. As someone who makes much of her living via the internet, it was critical I make her understand. Unfortunately, every time I explained it to her she ended up at home, with her PC, unable to find the many things the internet has to offer. Instead she was inundated with overbearing "help" prompts, missing drivers and plug-ins, spam, and virus infected emails.
I helped with the spam by getting her a Gmail account, but I had no quick fix to the Windows platform. Wait! Before you get all fired up, please note that I know Windows has its virtues. Unfortunately one of those virtues isn't being kind to the elderly (Sorry mom! You're young at heart but, when it comes to technology, you're a senior).
Windows is a complicated OS that can easily confuse those new to computing. I knew the only way to help was to get my mom onto a Mac. I also knew that my mom, who loves to stretch out with a good book, would equally love to stretch out while surfing the web, so a few months ago I handed over my 2006 MacBook. I hoped that a friendlier and simplified user experience would finally give her a glimpse of what the world wide web has to offer.
After just a few weeks, rather than getting phone calls from my mom, I was clicking links she emailed me, laughing at wall posts left on my Facebook page, and reading comments she left on my blogs. Did I create a monster? "When I didn't have the Mac, I barely used the computer. Now I use it all the time because I can take it anywhere and it's so easy to use."
So how often can my mom now be found online? "I'm ashamed to say. Probably around two to three hours a day, but I'm only on it for about 15 minutes at a time. I started watching movies, and I just love it! I love that I can lay down in bed, before going to sleep, and watch something. Do you know what else I love? I love the news. I love that in the morning, if the paper's late, I can read everything online and see videos. It's really fun. I was ready to disconnect our cable because now I get everything from the computer."
She gets it. She finally gets it. Now I need to help my dad understand...
Images: Joanna Zjawinska