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Sometimes You Should Just Say No to Technology

I’ve already told you about my mother and how her computer illiteracy is driving me to the point of alcoholism. So I thought I might as well go ahead and totally alienate her by sharing some of other ways she is stumped by technology today. Sorry mom, I’m throwing you under the bus today.

7 Reasons My Mother was Happier in 1985

1. Texting. Dear Lord. My mother has had a cellphone for years. Now mind you, she has one of those free phones that you get for signing a 2 year contract so it shouldn’t be that difficult to figure out. At least that’s what one would assume. All was well until Mom decided to master the skill of texting. The very first text I got from my mom read “Hi. This is Mom. How do I send this message? Is this a text? Am I paying extra for this?” The next one I received read “shdkgieshgleienhtnsoghsu.” Afraid that she might be having a stroke, I called her and found out that she was just cleaning her cell phone screen and accidentally sent a text. Sigh.

2. The DVR. For Christmas a couple of years ago my sister and I chipped in and paid for 2 years worth of satellite service and a DVR for my parents. That was money well spent, let me tell you. The only thing my mother has managed to record so far is an entire season of Jersey Shore and 3 hours worth of some Evangelical Church service. Seeing as how my mom doesn’t know Snooki from Snuffleupagus and my parents are Catholic….I’m thinking the DVR is a big fat fail.

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3. Call Waiting. Let’s see, what year did call waiting come out? I remember begging my parents for call waiting when I was in middle school and my dad declaring that we would not be getting “that newfangled techno gibberish”. Do you feel my pain? When we did finally get call waiting, still not sure how the phone company talked my mother into that one, my mother refused to use it. She is of the opinion that it’s rude. So if you are talking to her on the phone rest assured your conversation will be punctuated by random beeps and silences because she will not click over to the other line.

4. Voice Mail. I’m not sure what I find more amusing, the half garbled greeting that you get when you reach my mother’s voice mail or the fact that it’s pointless to leave a message anyway because she can’t figure out how to check it. If you call my mother’s phone and get her voice mail, this is what you will hear: “How am I supposed to do this? I didn’t hear a beep? What beep? (mumble, mumble, mumble) What happened to good old fashioned answering machines? I hate this stupid…..BEEP.”

5. Facebook. Oh the Facebook. My mother has a facebook account. I know this because she friended me and my sister. Then after she friended a bunch of other people she promptly freaked the hell out about privacy and security issues and called me in a panic. I spent the next hour trying to explain how she could adjust her security and privacy settings. That’s an hour of my life I can never get back and a bottle of wine that I didn’t even enjoy drinking.

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6. Online Banking. Just for a frame of reference, my mother has never had an ATM or Visa Check Card. Never. She doesn’t trust them. She’d rather write a check. Yes, she’s that lady in the front of the checkout line at Wal*Mart writing a check. Her personal banker, Robert, introduced her to the wonderful world of online banking last year. I can’t thank him enough for that. On an unrelated note- does anyone know of a service that will deliver a flaming bag of dog poo to someones doorstep? Let me know. Anyway- you can imagine how paranoid she is about online banking based on her freak out about Facebook privacy. Not to mention, she somehow managed to pay the same bill 5 times and set it up as a recurring bill payment to pay 5 times every month. Thanks Robert, thanks ever so much.

7. Laptop. For Christmas last year my sister and I bought my parents a laptop. They were still using an ancient relic of a desktop computer. It was so slow that you started to wonder if it was even turned on while waiting for a page to load. My dad has had alot of serious health issues that require overnight hospital stays so we thought it would be nice for him to have a laptop while he was confined to a hospital bed. What were we thinking? They weren’t even home for 15 minutes before my mom was calling me to tell me that the manufacturer forgot to include the mouse. It all went downhill from there. I don’t even want to discuss trying to get their wireless internet set up. I’m still twitching from that conversation.

I’ve tried to gently explain to my mother that perhaps it’s time for her to just say no to new technology. She’ll be much happier stuck in 1985 and I might be able to avoid inpatient rehab. I thought she was taking my advice until she called me the other morning to tell me that she had found one of those cute little video cameras on sale at Wal*Mart. She wanted me to explain how she could upload some videos to “The YouTubes”.

Pray for me.

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  • O.M.G. I’m DYING reading this!!! I share your role in my family between my mother-in-law (turning 60 this year) and my 89 year old Grandfather who will call me up and randomly tell me that his computer is telling him that google is going away forever!!! The wine does help!!! GL and keep me laughing, you’ve earned a new reader today! 😀

  • Here’s the sad thing – my mom could be writing this about ME! 🙂 Pinning this for sure.

  • Well now I miss 1985.

  • My mother sent me THOSE EXACT SAME TEXTS. I just assumed it was her medication. At least she can operate her cell phone. I love her to death, BUT … lady, your landline has been inoperable for SEVEN YEARS. Why are you still paying the bill?

  • LOL!!!! My parents are all technology all the time, although my mom is now getting into blogging and well, it’s super duper fun to explain to her how to create categories and tags over the phone. I usually have her log out and I log in and just do it for her.
    I am with your mom, though, on the call waiting. I hate it!

  • LOL!!! This sounds so much like my mom. She is currently banned from using the remote control because every time she touches it, the TV doesn’t work for a week. It’s really quiet around her house when my dad and brother aren’t home. She does know how to text… but apparently has now forgotten how to pick up a phone. If I call her, no matter how important it is, she will respond only via text.

  • Your point about the online banking made me cringe, as it brought to the forefront of my brain a PAINFUL conversation that I once had with my step-mom, in which she told me that online banking GUARANTEES that you will have your identity stolen. My poor hubby, who works in the technology field looked like his head was going to explode as he sat there listening to that.

  • Hysterical! My mother is finally considering upgrading to an iPhone. She’s still using a cell phone (for emergencies only) with her free 25 minutes a month. God help me.

  • Genius! I am dying over here! I’d send this to my mom, but, well…you know. Cheers!

  • Love love love the VCR comic–this is my life and my husband basically hates me. Otherwise, by far the most annoying component of above list is the wasted bottle of wine. I suppose it would be bad form to sue your own mother over alcohol, huh?

  • My Mom went right down to computer class when my brother got her a computer so she and her sibs could e-mail. (pic of them today on my post) She loves her e-mail but we have discouraged her questions about FaceBook by telling her that her dial up wouldn’t support it (true) and she has no other option because she lives In The Middle of Nowhere. I can’t even blog from her house. We didn’t want to tell her that no one in the family would friend her cause we don’t want her “all up in our business.” She’s better off NOT KNOWING what her grandkids post of FB. P.S. Love your blog!

  • My mum won’t touch DVD’s, videos, any sort of computer (which is a real pain, we can’t even e-mail her), answerphone, any sort of music player eg MP3 player…..
    However she is totally addicted to her Kindle!

    Personally I cannot master texting. But then I don’t have teenagers yet. I suspect that I will have to learn soon!

  • I’m lucky ithat – in general – my mom knows her techy limitations. I’d never have to deal with her texting mishaps, because she knows she should just back away slowly from texting completely. But I think it also helps that I’ve spent a lifetime demonstrating my lack of computery prowess, so even if she did have a problem, I’m the last person she’d call.

  • I gotta say…I’m with your mom on this one! I am pretty sure I could do without all 7. 🙂