When I heard my phone buzz early on a recent Saturday morning, , I thought, “Have I created a monster?” No monster, just my 87-year-old mother wanting to say hello via FaceTime. She was video calling me on her new iPad Air that she has learned to use with some help from my sister and brother-in-law who live nearby and with an occasional hint from me several hundred miles away.
We’ve asked Mom for years about her interest in getting a computer to stay in touch with family around the country, but she had shown little interest. Her phone was good enough for that. But the birth of her first great-grandchild 650 miles away and the opportunity to see daily pictures and live videos of the baby was enough to break down the last barrier! Though well beyond the baby boomer ages of her children, Mom is rapidly becoming “tech-savvy” in her ninth decade.
So what has she learned to do thus far? Text, email, open attachments including pictures and save them, take pictures, and even surf the Internet a bit. Not only does she stay in touch with us daily via email or FaceTime, but she also likes the small conveniences like sending her grocery list to my sister and reading magazines and newspapers she didn’t have access to.
She is currently working on her Internet search skills and we are sharing interesting resources with Mom. Because I am so far away, I appreciate being able to see Mom and talk to her face-to-face.
Does she spend all day online now, searching for old friends on Facebook? Of course not, but she says, “As a senior I can keep in touch without going out to mail something in this cold northeastern winter.” The moral of the story, of course, is…you are never too old to learn to use technology for tasks you would like to complete.
How are you staying in touch with friends and relatives in ways that were not previously possible?