A few weeks ago, I was out running errands for a party I was planning. I work in an office that occasionally resembles The Office in its ability to have random things occur that no one really believes are happening but totally are. In this case, a group of us were throwing a "shower" to celebrate a co-worker's name change (not related to marriage or divorce). My goal for the day was to find prizes for the game and some additional gifts for the guest of honor. I was heading to Target when my phone whistled at me. This is the sound it makes when I get a text message. I figured it was my brother since we had plans for lunch/dinner later in the day. It was not my brother.
It was my mom. My mom figured out how to text.
At first, I thought my brother was messing with me. He was not - he had no idea this was even happening. The text included use of "r" and "u" instead of "are" and "you." I sent a text in response but still had to call because I didn't believe it was her. She thought this was funny (aren't texts supposed to eliminate the need for calls?) and explained that she decided that she wanted to try out texting and figured it out on her own. I was so proud.
My mom and her cell phone have a complicated relationship. She has had a cell phone for years but rarely leaves it on so actually trying to reach her on it is an exercise in frustration. I get why she has a cell phone but it always seemed like a wasted expense for her. However, she's trying to be better about using her phone and has started to leave it on during the day and call me from even when she's not out of the house. I'm not entirely sure what kind of plan she's on now but I guess she has to use all the minutes or text options or she loses what she paid. Anyway, with her new phone my mom decided to embrace using it more and so she has discovered texting. She's also started using the alarm clock and I believe she's been taking pictures. She read the user manual too. Because that's how my mom rolls.
I'll admit that I have kept texting to myself figuring that she didn't really need one more way to get in touch with me. Maybe this was a selfish thing to do (probably) but she didn't seem to miss it either. Mom has evolved her use of technology over the years. When I went to college, email was not a thing so we talked on the phone a lot. Not everyday but most days. When email became more important and easier to use, my mom got an account. It was a slightly larger leap technology-wise but it has kept us connected and is obviously a great way to tell me about her day and send funny ecards to one another (since that's what the Internet is for). Mom admits to not being the most tech savvy person but it's not her generation's thing. I'm impressed with her online abilities.
And then I sort of convinced her to join Facebook. Gone are the days of moms just being able to embarrass their children in front of their friends/relatives/significant others in person. Now Facebook lets that happen whenever mom feels like signing on and commenting on something you've written, posted, or a photo. My mom on Facebook is one of my favorite things. I remember a comment on my birthday a few years back that referenced rainbows. She sometimes types in all caps even though she's not shouting. Several of my friends have commented that they'd like to hang out with my mom based on her posts and comments. One friend would like to come over to make egg rolls with us the next time we have a Garland family egg roll making party. Apparently, her posts make us sounds like a wacky family (there is some truth to that statement) who are fun to hang out with for specific food related events (even more truth to that). Mom has said on numerous occasions that she's going to close her account but she hasn't done it yet. I think she secretly loves Facebook but doesn't want to admit it. Because then Mark Zuckerberg wins.
I've always considered texting the last frontier for my mom so I'm not really sure what's left for her. Does she get a Twitter account and start tweeting random things? What about a Tumblr blog for her women's club? Or maybe she'll get a YouTube channel and feature videos the adventures of Mack the corgi and make him an Internet star. After all, corgis are the new cats.
Happy Mother's Day Mom!