Living in a Digital World and I am a Digital Girl

Or at least I am trying to be.

My 77 year old mother has been nagging me for the past 2 years that I have owned an iPhone, that I am glued to “that phone”. She complained to my sisters about me and she complained to me about them. Trouble is…”that phone” is sooo much more than a phone.

It’s a lifeline to my present and to my future.

The truth is….we (my sisters and I, and I’m guessing some of you too) are trying—what feels to be too little too late, – to catch a wave in a digital ocean that threatens to engulf us and leave us behind if we don’t have some measure of understanding of the current technology and social media. I have to always keep pushing myself with the goal that at some point my interacting with electronics will be second nature-like it is for my kids.

I realize if I want to continue to be relevant in my kid’s world and have any chance at all in my grandkids world…I have to try, on some level, to “get it”. And this “it” doesn’t come natural to most of the folks my age.

I passed on the “My Space” era. So, I was not about to be left behind when Facebook started up. I “friended” each of my boys—(one of them refused-at first). Then, they told me that my generation “ruined” Facebook and they left for Twitter. I followed them there.

Like many areas of my life right now, I feel like I’m caught in the middle of this digital/techno/electronic whatever. Too old to possess the natural ability to “just know” what buttons to push, and how to maneuver any device put into my hands.

Too young to opt out of the whole mess.

I am blown away that a picture that I take with my cell phone will automatically show up on my lap top. Shut up. How do they do that?

No, don’t tell me. I don’t need to know.

I own almost every electronic gadget (do they still use that word?) that Apple makes, but sadly, cannot begin to do use fully every function on any one device. My most common question: “It can do that??” Wow.

I have noticed that there are some lessons in technology that I think apply to life as well.

Such as:

– When the computer screen freezes, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete. (Do over, please.)

-The curvy arrow thingy on dashboard is Undo. (My ugly words, actions and thoughts….yes, thank you-I need one of those.)

-If all the things you’ve tried don’t seem to be working and you can’t figure out why- power the device down. (Take a nap.)

I’m sure there is a “For Dummies” book out there to help me, but I’m not sure I need to know everything about gigabytes and 1080p. I just want to know enough to get by, to look cool and most of all… keep up with my kids.

I sort of envied my mom-that she could choose to leave this planet without knowing how to text, tweet or be tied to an electronic device. She could be excused because of her age. No one would fault her.

And my sisters and I knew that her complaining about us was woman code for: she was feeling left out. Left out of the picture sharing and a little jealous of the constant communication we had with our kids and each other.

That was before SHE got an iPhone. (Well, technically, my sisters and I got her an iPhone.) What were we thinking?

The first time she saw her phone (with the cute purple case) she was very excited, and more than a little terrified. But we reassured her that she could learn to handle the phone (she kept banging the touch screen) and that she could go to classes to learn how to use it.

She immediately joined the throng of senior citizens who meet weekly at the local Verizon store for iPhone classes. Only problem is…she won’t go to another class till she masters what was covered in the last one. This may take a while.

It’s been a little over a month now, and despite her frustration with learning something so very new, she has managed well. Receiving grandkid’s texts and pictures from my sister while she was in Europe has made the hard transition to a smart phone worthwhile for her.

In fact, Dad just called to say “your mother has turned into a phone freak.”

Guess it runs in the family.


This entry was posted in Family, Midlife Maze, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Living in a Digital World and I am a Digital Girl

  1. Nicole says:

    The pics get transferred to your computer by the “magic” of a cloud. Think of it as a hard drive in the “sky” that links all of your related products together (i.e. your iPad, macbook, iPhone, etc.).

  2. Beth says:

    Enjoyed your post. I have always considered you to be a wise woman. I recently returned to Facebook. I think I need to go the iPhone class for seniors. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Pam says:

    LOVE THIS! and our mom!…

  4. Laura Beth says:

    I remember that I got on AOL before you did-to your dismay! But you surpassed me in record time! BTW-I love the way you write. I see a real future here…

  5. Mary Ann Hodnett says:

    I enjoyed reading this. I believe you have a future in writing. Please continue.

  6. Kim C Ill says:

    Oh this is sooooo true. I remember when Momma use to say to me, ” when you get done with that thing I want to check my Facebook”. Now Momma has her own Kindle. Now when I call her every morning, she says , “did you see…. on FB?” Uhhh No Mom, I don’t check FB first thing in the morning. We all love staying connected. Just some electronics are easier to use than others.

  7. Patti Brown says:

    Great blog! I still have a “non-smart” phone, but enjoy my ipad. I am amazed that I can read my emails in the kitchen and print the kids sports schedules on the printer – upstairs! I recently started a new job. Wow! Technology has changed in the banking world since I left it 21 years ago. I recently spent a couple of hours just playing with the email – learning how to set up folders and color coding my calendar – it’s the little things in life that give me pleasure! Keep writing Stephanie!

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