The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Low-tech lady living in a techy society

Until recently, everyone with a Facebook account was a hip, computer-savvy individual probably under the age of 35, with the latest in computer technology at their fingertips. I fixed that.
First, let me say it wasn’t my idea. My one or two younger, cooler friends forced me into it, as they continued to send me requests to be their Facebook friend. Friendship via snail mail and e-mail isn’t enough anymore. Getting my own account was the only way I could see pictures of their adorable children, view their artwork and truly find out what they have been up to these days.
Dang it. I just learned how to download and send photos. I didn’t appreciate that’s been left in the dust, until I finally saw some of these amazing personal sites. They have dozens of photos, conversations, jokes, opinions and updates to the minute of whatever the site owner wants known. But when my new account arbitrarily asked any number of people I know to let me “be their friend” and hook up to their Internet accounts, you could almost hear my now-in-college son gasp from 3,000 miles away.
What child wants his mother privy to the everyday stuff of college years? I promised him I wouldn’t pry, but he had no faith in my promise. He gently but swiftly “unfriended” me (is that a word now?). Like the gasp, I’m certain I heard his sigh of relief all the way from Boston.
Of course, part of me very much wanted to scour his site. I’m a mom. But I bit the bullet and let it go. We all know there are just some things a mother is happier not knowing and I imagine eight out of 10 of those things are all in living color on my child’s Facebook site. That he let me on even briefly was a compliment.
Meanwhile, I have been reminded how truly old, slow and limited my trusty computer is. Friends keep inviting me to join their network. I try. I follow the instructions, and send my machine into “You-expect-me-to-do-what?” mode. It struggles mightily for 10 or 15 minutes and then just poops out. Now I’m afraid these friends and relatives think I am ignoring their requests and are ready to cut me off their Christmas card lists.
I will probably get a new computer. I will probably get one soon. I just have to get past my sensory overload every time I try to decide which one. Do I want a laptop? I thought I did until I realized I had to get used to a different keyboard and this strange fingertip mouse thingee. My purse is already too heavy, anyway.
I keep thinking my computer needs are simple, until I find out I need something else, which is, of course, the way of the future. So Mac or PC and how big is big enough? If you are about to e-mail me some advice, take your hand off that button. I won’t understand anything technical you say.
I know. I’ll look on the Internet. Oh yeah, that’ll help.