Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Rerun - Tech Savvy Grandma

Posted by Terry McNichols, March 2009

(One year later, I am using Twitter only occasionally, just to keep up.  Facebook has proven to be a lot of fun, connecting me to friends and family!  We are using Skype occasionally.  And I am addicted to my new iPhone! And my mother-in-law is still checking Facebook regularly, but doesn't post her status.)

If you ask me what I have accomplished the last few weeks, I will have to tell you that I have spent far more time on my computer than I care to admit. I had some very important and welcome interruptions, but other than the birth of my fifth grandchild, not much else has been able to pry my mangled fingers from the keyboard. I have found the mouse hole to beat all mouse holes, in the form of Facebook and Twitter.

If you know me at all, you are aware that I have been feeding my computer addiction since 1995, when I first bought a windows-based computer and got immediately hooked. I've been building websites, emailing, taking computers apart and putting them back together since that time and try to stay on top of the latest technology -- an impossible task. I don't (yet) have an iPhone or a media package for my phone, but I am trying desperately to keep up.

I mentioned in a prior post that I have signed up for Skype and bought a webcam, in hopes of keeping up with my growing Texas family. I passed over that learning curve and jumped right into another. I have become addicted to Facebook and have found it to be a huge leap in my ability to keep up with friends, as well as nieces and nephews across the country and the world. I have been playing word games and speed games across the miles with my "friends" and across town with my son and his wife, often late at night when we all should be sleeping. I have become more intimately acquainted with several people I already knew, but now know much better. My new grandson had his picture and a video posted on facebook accounts before he was a day or two old!

So today I took the plunge and signed up for a Twitter account. I've long thought Twitter sounded like a total waste of time and energy, but after hearing about it non-stop on NPR and reading about it in magazines, I decided to take the plunge. So recently I have been keeping up with my daughter-in-law in Texas!

If you are a user of either of these, send me a request and I'll happily "friend" or "follow" you.
But my point to you, our readers? The world of communication is changing at speeds that remind me of Leona's post about white water rafting. It does feel like that at times to those of us who may be technologically challenged. But if you want to stay afloat, you need to get on the raft, start paddling, and hold on for dear life! The white waters of change are happening in the world of technology, and we dare not get behind! Think about it. My grandchildren probably couldn't even identify this picture:
And finally, if you're wondering if you can do it, take notice that my 83-year-old mother-in-law just joined Facebook. You can do it!
Photos by ninnet, imjustcreative, Old Telephones, shared via Flickr)


Bethany said...

Here's my argument--some of us have gotten on the raft and paddled for dear life and don't like it...we would much rather amble along the riverside and sniff the flowers. I appreciate twitter, texting, e-mail, and technology, but work very hard at keeping my involvement in them to a minimum, and specifically have chosen not to get involved in certain modes of communication in an effort to keep my life more simplified, focusing instead on communicating with people in person, in real life situations. This is especially important with two small children in the house--even as I post this comment, I realize that I am ignoring my two children! I'm unplugging now...

Terry McNichols said...

You are so right, Bethany! I was really writing more for the "senior" crowd that we target. WE are the ones in danger of being left behind if we don't try to keep up. I see this happening to my own parents. They are missing out on all of the fun things the younger generation is putting on the internet. We even put our pictures on Facebook now instead of one of the photo sharing sites.
I have no worries that your generation will be able to keep up. And the kids following you will be very familiar with all of the changes.
Thanks for commenting!

Terry McNichols said...

PS: You KNOW that I put the needs of your children above the social network, right?

Bethany said...

Good point. Yes, you are excellent at putting your grandchildren's needs first! There is definitely a gap between the "senior" generation needing to get on the raft and the "younger" (am I still part of that generation?) gen. needing to find times to get off.