My brothers’ parents have come a long, long way with regard to their technological savvy. Really they have.
There was a time when their mother had to be convinced that just because her new laptop had wireless capabilities did not mean she could travel without her battery pack. But it’s wireless! she’d say. Yes, Mom. It is. But your battery life is not. Dad decided his life was easier by just staying away. And, for a period of time, he did. Until he got a laptop.
[We shant go waaay back to the age of the first desktop configuration. No, we won’t.]
There was that time with the new cell phone. Mom decided to branch out and take on this new mobile technology, as all of her children had been using it for years. Her daughter received the first call. And first hang-up. Every time I answered my phone, Mom hung up. On the third call, I yelled MOM! DON’T HANG UP! into the receiver.
Mom: Hello? Jill? Is that you?
Me: Mom. Why are you hanging up on me?
Mom: Well, every time I call you, the phone suddenly says “In Use” so I hang up because I figure someone is using it.
Me (laughing till I practically cry): Mom. Someone is using it. YOU are using it. To talk to me.
Dad, too, “gave in” and got a phone. He was pretty good other than being annoyed with how tiny the numbers were. He did need some help setting up the voice mail, so I dialed everything, whispered “Are you ready?” and then handed him his phone at the appropriate moment. Which is why his voicemail says, “OK…yes, this is John…”
And there was that time(s) with the e-mail-related question. Mom often takes turns calling her children during the workday to ask computer-related questions, similar to the following:
Mom: Jill! My e-mail won’t send with the attachments. You told me how to attach the photos, and I attached them just like you said, and it won’t send. Help!
Me: Look at the line that says “To:” What do you have typed in there?
Mom: Nothing. It’s blank.
Me: Uh, you have to insert someone’s e-mail address.
And the times when one of us kids would help locate a folder (inadvertently moved from elsewhere) or figure out a Picasa photo question. Or a solution to any one of a hundred other questions. The answers are scribbled down on notes lying all around the computer desk. Ah, Mom and Dad. You make me smile.
And now, the text messaging has commenced. You may remember reading about the very first text message Mom sent to me. I wrote about it here.
Since that day (and the add on of a text messaging package to her carrier’s plan), Mom has been texting her children steadily with perfect use of texting abbreviations. Really! She’s a crafty abbreviator. Perhaps because of her former work with the FBI and use of shorthand. Wherever your skills come from, good job, Mom!
This week, as Mom and Dad traveled to visit their eldest son, my phone along with my two other brothers’ phones lit up. We knew where they were at all times.
“Beans done Going to TX tomoro. Start 900a”
“We’re in Indy heading to Indianapolis”
“Your father’s response: What r they thinking? and Only 2 mr turns”
“Txt wrng number Ur father is drivng again”
“Pasd the arch”
“Had KFC Walmart Sullivan MO”
“60 mile Ft Worth”
“WE R HERE: Forgot to txt”
“Just had DQ Grl scout thn mnt”
And that’s just some texts from my phone. I kinda felt like I was traveling with them.
My brother Joshua received the text that proved even Dad was embracing this latest technological venture with open arms:
“I On vacation dad”
Which caused Joshua to post a Facebook status in Dad’s honor:
I will always remember where I was the day that my dad sent me a text message for the first time: “I On vacation dad” Thanks Dad. For attempting to embrace modern technology. And for reminding me that you are on vacation. I want to be just like you when I get big.
A day later, I received a text from Dad.
“Day two vacation in texas dad”. Coming from Mom’s cell phone. I didn’t ask who typed it. Because it really doesn’t matter.
Congratulations to Dad! Who, by the way, is now also an active Internet surfer and user of all-things-Google-search. I’ve heard rumors that he’s even sending e-mails. Usually to Joshua to let him know when he (Dad) is on vacation.
I wonder what’ll be next? Smart phones for the both of them? With one (or all) of their sons’ numbers on speed dial?