Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can you Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

I mean this with no disrespect to my mother, first and foremost. I mean, I'm just trying to get as much insight as possible into how feasible my mother's latest idea is ...

She wants a BlackBerry. Yup, my 60+ mother wants to get rid of her simplistic cell phone (which, incidentally, she has trouble operating) and get a BlackBerry. I spent an hour or so last night showing her how to use mine, and she had two bottom line thoughts:
1) The keyboard is much easier to type on
2) You can Google whenever you want!

Oh, and she was also really into the calendar which, to be fair, is pretty cool. I have mine synched to my work e-mail, so any meetings or appointments set up through Outlook at work are automatically added to my CrackCalendar.

My main concern is that this is a woman unable to make any sort of technological inferencing or troubleshooting on her laptop (you wouldn't believe some of the questions she comes up with ;))

Which, I suppose, leads me to my next point: Facebook. My mother is convinced that Facebook is evil, that shhould she get one, identity fraud of the highest level will be immediately perpetrated. I (very patiently) showed he what would happen if someone tried to even look at my Facebook if I hadn't added them first, namely that they'd see nothing but my picture and "Click here to send a Friend Request to Katie". I still don't think she got it ...

She does love to look at pictures on my Facebook, though (Addie's got 400 pics from her recent trip, for example), and she's also moderately creepy about checking out my friends' profiles. "What does Aunt Sarah's say? Has Mary or Adam updated recently?"

Geez Louise, Mom ... Get your own!

So what do you think? Should I encourage her to pursue these endeavors? (And please don't say she'll get better with practice--she won't ... She gives a lot of presentations, and either Addie or I still have to be PowerPoint tech support after well over ten years of this)


  1. I totally understand. I give my mom a tutorial on her cell phone every single time she visits and she seems to get it, but as soon as she leaves, she can't do anything other than yell into it.

    Whatever. If your mom wants a Blackberry, she should get one. You'll just have one more thing to be tech support for. It's still good for your brain to try new things even if you can't remember how to do them.

  2. My mom still can't access voicemail on her cell phone, even though it says 'Hit send to retrieve'.

    And she bugged me so much about setting up a Facebook account that I did it. Now, she comes to me every time she wants to look at it because she "can't see anything". I'm tired of saying, "Mom, it's like your e-mail, you have to sign in." lol!

  3. If she's determined, what can you do to stop her? Besides, the Blackberry may be the one piece of kit she can use...I believe in hope over expectation.

  4. I would tell her to go ahead, but that YOU will NOT be her Help Desk. If she needs help, she needs to find someone else to do it. I did that with my dad. He's a computer idiot. He got the message pretty quickly. Of course, living thousands of miles away really helps.