Personal Experience: Watching My Mother Do the Internet

Some people that are not born into the world of the internet don’t exactly understand how emails, facebook, and to a certain degree, texting, works. My mother is an example of one of those people. When ever she wants to be involved with this stuff, she immediately requests that someone help her in doing so. For example, when she wants to check her emails and/or send one, she asks what things to click on and what buttons to press. Sometimes she asks what her email address and password is, only to be reminded that she wrote it down somewhere. The same thing goes with facebook. She asks what posting a status means, she asks how to “like” and comment on something, and she asks what happens when someone “friend requests” her. In regards to texting, she gets the main gist of it, but group texts and pictue messages are a slight struggle.

Don’t get me wrong, here. My mother is a very smart and intelligent person. She just doesn’t get involved with the internet enough to remember how to do things. Although sometimes my sisters, my dad, and I often tell her to “get with the program” because “it’s 2014” (2014 was the most recent time we spoke about it), I completely understand her lack of usage of these sort of things. After watching Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk about how technology is diminishing society’s social skills (I know this is the second time I pulled this card, but it fits so well with this experience), I feel a little jealous of her. Maybe the reason why she never cared much about it like we did is because she values face-to-face interactions with others more that digital messaging. Or maybe she just doesn’t have the time for it, period. Who knows? Regardless, I kinda wish “the program” wasn’t mostly influenced by purely social media interactions.

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