The ten year lag
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"Will you relax? You just sent the friend request last night," I replied.
No, this isn't a conversation between me and a girlfriend about some cute boy, it's one between myself and my mother this past weekend. Yes, sigh, my mom is on Facebook at long last and addicted to it, in all of its sinking, waning glory. She has already figured out how to stalk her old college and high school classmates, pore over pictures of them and their families, and tell me all about how so-and-so still looks so young and how such-and-such has x number of grandkids. After sifting through a few hundred pictures taken by myself and my sister, we've uploaded a profile picture to her page so her friends can see what she looks like in return. And I can now look forward to being compared to her friends' successful, beautiful, talented, rich children here in the States as well as internationally.
At this point, I've realized that there is at least a 10 year lag between a technology and its adoption by my parents. My parents are both on email and are at that point in their emailing lifecycle where they religiously forward powerpoint presentations of puppies and kittens frolicking in green meadows, videos of people with beautiful voices on Italian/Korean/Japanese/Chinese versions of American Idol, jokes about wives, husbands, mother-in-laws, and every single health article known to man. Do you remember when you used to do that, blindly forward every single funny/sad/amazing/scary email you received? I do, and I think it was when we were still using dial up on our one landline that you had to handcrank with a rotary dial. If they start forwarding chain letter emails, I might just throw my laptop out the window.
My sister thoughtfully bought my parents' both tablets for Christmas this year and then promptly moved away one month into the new year, abandoning them to figure out how to check email on an iPad on their own. We're still working on that one, thanks a lot Siri. My mom, who has never gushed over anything that she's owned ever, proclaimed to me that she "loooves her iPad." And she certainly does. If you ever see an Asian lady fish her iPad out of her purse and hold it up like a map to buried treasure, that's my mom taking pictures with her iPad. In public. She's that lady. And despite how many times I ask her to, she's not going to stop.
Some day, in the distant future I hope, I know that I will be that older lady, goggle-eyed at the zooming drones, flying cars, and implanted cell phones we will have by then. I'll be stopping kids on their hovercraft tricycles, asking them how to "turn on this darn chip embedded in my hand" and they'll just shake their heads at me. But until that day, I will stubbornly continue to keep up with the hare that is technology and also doggedly ignore my mom's Facebook friend request.