todo sobre mi madre


no, my mother was not once my father, but that’s a whole other story. this isn’t so much just about my mother as it is about the generation gap and how the rapid evolution of technology is widening it. my mother is not a technical person, she never has been. the year after my dad died, i went home to visit my mom about once a month (a world record for me to be sure). everytime i would be home, my mom would complain that she couldn’t operate some aspect of the tv / vcr / cable disaster my dad had set up. admittedly, it wasn’t very user friendly. so i would write out very explicit step by step instructions for her. then on my next visit, she would either complain that my instructions didn’t work or that she lost them. i repeated this process about 8 times before refusing to do it anymore. my mom never understood what i got so upset about.

my mom and i are now struggling because i communicate at the speed of the internet and she does not. i wanted to get my mom some sort of email appliance a few years back, but she refused and demanded a computer like her friends have. i knew this would be trouble, but i conceeded. she can rarely get her computer or msn or whatever to work right (or so she complains), and when she can, she can’t write anything longer than about a paragraph. my mom’s just not a typer.

i am not a talker. while i truly enjoy face to face conversations, i’ll take email or im over phone calls anyday. i have a hard time understanding without visual clues. phone calls offer me no such advantage. i communicate in quick bursts, asynchronous snippets full of valuable information, not idle chit chat. my mom just wants to call to say hi and talk about the weather. the type of thing that midwesterners do. the type of thing that made the corrections so relevant. my mom wants me to communicate with her the way older generations do. i want to bring her into the present. with digital pictures, and email, and other non linear media.

i know i am doomed. i know it will not work. but i don’t want to go back. i can’t bear to go back.


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