I can remember our first computer growing up. It was an Apple Macintosh...I think it was the M0001 model, I'll have to ask Dad. Had the rainbow Apple logo and everything.It printed on the paper with the holes on the sides and you had to tear individual sheets. We used to print banners for every event under the sun. By "we", I mean me and Sara.
"Welcome home from camp, Sara!"
"You lost a tooth, Ruth!"
"Noah is a baby!"
"Actually, no, Noah wasn't even born yet now that I think about it!"
We spent the majority of our time on the computer mastering Frogger. I hate that game. And I love it at the same time.
Dad traded in the Mac for some PC. An upgraded computer came with upgraded games. We were wizards of MS-DOS. Remember all the code you had to type in? C://...GOOD TIMES. Our game of choice was Loom. In today's world, Loom was the equivalent of World of Warcraft. So, yeah, we were dweebs. But, Loom was a fun, albeit creepy, game.
Then came, THE INTERNET. We didn't really care because we had Loom. But along with the internet rode ELECTRONIC MAIL. Now, THAT, we paid attention to. My parents got a family email address. I'm trying to remember what it was. But, we all shared it. It's not like all of our friends had email addresses and we were missing out. Most of the time, we just called each other. My first, very own email address (when I was 14) was firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't even ask. I think I used that one until college. Sara had one, too. It was probably something lame like email@example.com. But, we emailed people all the time. We would email each other. Mom would just roll her eyes and talk about what a waste of time that was and how she would never get caught up in that "email craze".
About a second later, Mom got herself an email address. And boy, did she email. Mom didn't want the use of punctuation or grammatical correctedness to slow her down–she had emails to send, y'all!–so all of her emails looked a little something like this:
RUTH HOW ARE CLASSES GOING WE ARE DOING FINE HERE WE ARE FEEDING THE CATS DAD IS BUSY AT WORK PETER AND NOAH ARE DOING GREAT IN THEIR SCHOOLWORK WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO VISIT FOR HOMECOMING CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL LOVE MOM
And we would tell her, "Mom, you're yelling at us. Caps lock, Mom...caps lock. Learn it, love it." The all caps lasted for a good many years, but Mom was a emailing fool. But, ooooooh NO, she was not going to get caught up in the world wide web. "It's too confusing. There's nothing but trash out there. I get the info I want from the newspaper." Well, a second later, Dad got her her own computer and someone, I don't know who, taught her how to check the weather. That's "all she wanted to check"...the weather. When my parents added onto their house years ago, Mom had them build a concrete bunker for bad weather. The leaves would blow and she'd have all of us in that room in under 2.7 seconds. Eventually, we grew tired of waking up at 3 in the morning to the sound of a crazy lady screaming, "TORNADO!" (no, there were no tornadoes) so we just stayed in bed while Mom huddled in the bunker with her flashlight, mumbling to herself, "Well, I'm not going to any of their funerals." And I knew she mumbled that, because she told us later.
But, she had no way to see what the weather was doing or have some kind of satellite imagery to show her the coverage. And she found out you could do that on the internet and that was it. She is the Weather Queen. She knows what is happening weather-wise anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW. So, for the past 8 or so years, we don't have to worry about ever checking our own weather, because Mom will call us and tell us what to look out for. Oh, and you might wonder how Mom checks the weather if their power goes out. No worries. They had a generator installed for that purpose. We. Always. Know. The. Weather.
And I know as soon as she reads this, she's going to call me and say, "Well, fine then. Making fun of me–see if I call you whenever there's any bad weather near you. You can fend for yourself." Mom, I greatly appreciate you warning us of any bad weather and hurricanes and tornadoes. Thank you for always keeping your family safe even if we whined about it.
Well, did you know the internet can do more than check the weather? Mom found this out. (Like we told her about a million times before.) She started checking the news. She is a news fiend.
And, then, against all odds...we talked her into getting a facebook account. WHAAAAAT?? This was a big deal. And now she is a facebook stalker. She doesn't play games or send gifts or anything...she reads your statuses...and then reads what other people say on your page...and then goes to those people's pages and reads about them. She knows everything about everyone. I'm serious. If you are friends with her on facebook, she already has your banking account info. Don't worry, she won't do anything with it...she just has it.
When she came and stayed with us for so many weeks after the girls were born, we taught her how to use my laptop. Anything out of the ordinary with the girls and it was GOOGLE IT!
And then we introduced her to the iPad. Ohhhhh, she likes the iPad. (Hint for Dad.) She can tote that booger anywhere in the house with her. Like a little nerd with her progress report on a holographic tablet..."Uhm (snort), yeth, thir...my readingth (snort) indicate that our levels of uridium (snort) are decreathing at an ekthponential rate due to the dithruptive patternth (snort) of the warp vortekth generated by our engine manifoldth (snort...pushing glasses up on nose)." Oh. Crap. Maybe I'm the nerd.
Then we talked her into getting a smartphone because she can do all of that AND talk on the phone with one little device. She says (like most "old" people say), "Oh, I don't know how to work all these gadgets you kids have nowadays. They're silly toys just wasting everybody's time and keeping people from interacting in a normal social situation." Oh, no...she, and all of the other ones, know what they're doing. They're probably better at technology than we are. They just won't admit how much fun they're having. I never imagined the day Mamaw A would get on facebook. Or that Papaw A would read this blog. They both say, "Oh, we barely know what we're doing." That's a lie. I swear they can run a nuclear sub from their home computer. So yeah, Mom knows what she's doing.
So, last night (she's staying with us this week, PTL), the poll results start coming in and, did you know that you can change the results of the vote merely by refreshing the page over and over and over again to see the new numbers? Yes, it's true. Finally, we were like, "Mom, let's just check in the morning. They're going to be the same as they will be at midnight tonight." She conceded, but not without first checking in with Papaw G (a political genius) to hear his predictions.
We created a monster. An Internet Mom Monster. A good Mom Monster. One for whom we are very grateful and one who keeps us updated on the weather, news, and facebook gossip.