The Silver Surfer

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Computers play such an important part of so many peoples lives.  I grew up in a time when computers were the norm with every room in my school scattered with computers (considerably bigger and slower than today's models!)  Its hard to imagine life without them and since our move to Canada they have become a connection to family and friends in the UK. 

One of the main update tools I have for family is Facebook.  Some love it, some hate it, some are addicted and some don't bother to look for weeks.  I love it for the simple fact I can nosey in on the people we left behind.  I can see what they are up to and likewise my family and friends in the UK use it as a way to still be a part of our lives through our photos and updates.  They can see what the kids are doing and how deep the snow is in our back garden and comment on a new haircut or facial hair (Hubby is still in the throws of Movember and still looking dodgy!)

Now there are people who did not grow up with a computer on hand.  They did not learn to use Microsoft programmes and evolve their skills as computers got better, faster and smaller.  They are the Silver Surfers, they are of an age that missed the keyboard tapping culture I so enjoy.  Many of them have stepped on board the technology train but others have lived their lives happily unaware of viruses, excel spreadsheets and defragging.  One of those blissfully unaware soles was my Mum.

My Mum has lived her life so far, without the need for a computer.  Her phone, until very recently was brick shaped and so old it didn't even have the option for predictive text.  Her new phone was too small and she had no idea how to send texts on it.  So with our move to Canada my Mum has started a fast learning curve to computerize herself.  She can Skype with ease but had a split screen for a long time as she didn't know how to fix it!  I once spelled out an email address for her over the phone and she said it didn't work.  I asked her to spell it back to me and rather than add an @ sign she had written "at" in the address.

Now she is a Facebooker and is slowly learning the ropes.  She can check my photos and adds comments here and there but she has inadvertently created a new game, "Where's Mum".  For those who are unaware with the children's book, 'Where's Wally" click here for a full description, but basically its a page of lots of people doing lots of things and you have to search the image for Wally.  My Mum's way of collecting photos she likes on her profile page is tagging.  As you know tagging is what you do if you are in a picture so people can identify you in the image.  So far my Mum has been in London, Germany, Wiltshire and Canada.  She is really good at hiding in the pictures as we have yet to find her, but she must be there? 

As much as I laugh about my Mum the Silver Surfer, I am very proud of what she has achieved on her computer adventure.  We talk, comment and check each others photos and it feels good, because just for a while it does not feel like she is 4235 miles away!

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