I spent a few days largely off the grid a few weeks ago when I was on vacation. I had my iPhone and computer, but didn't maintain my usual social networking mania. My tweets were sparse, I didn't update Facebook and I didn't email friends back at my usual lightening speed. The reason? I was really busy. Still, I received three emails from friends wondering if I was OK (and in one case, if I was mad at her). Clearly my always available and online status has trained others to think I will be just that — always available — but it's not always possible. How fast do you think friends should expect to hear back from you via email?
A while back I purchased a new laptop for myself and gave my mother the old one. Since this is the first laptop she's had I went home and hooked up a wireless router so that she could use it all over the house and no be tethered to the living room. Our first hiccup came when she called me concerned that the cable company hadn't charged her for the increase in the service and she didn't want to all of a sudden get a bill with multiple months worth of this additional wireless service. I explained the at wireless was just the box that I bought her and there would be no charges other than the cable internet fees she was already paying.
A few months later she called telling me she was down sizing her bills and she wanted me to call the cable company to disconnect the wireless and she would just plug in the computer to use the internet. Again I explained to her that she wasn't paying for the wireless that the box was making the house a wireless hotspot, not he cable company.
Recently we went through it again. After a power outage she called me completely enraged over the lack of support she was getting from the cable company trying to get the wireless reset, and that she was going just cancel the wireless service. I finally got it working for her with a little help from the 14 year old neighbor. I kind of blame the cable company for not having customer service for the non tech.
I don't think she's ever going to understand that the wireless is the box and not the cable company beaming a signal to her house.
Maybe she's just ahead of the times and I shouldn't be making fun of her.
This isn't about a family member but funny nonetheless.
On a flight to Tokyo that was diverted to Osaka due to a monsoon, I popped open my laptop to find the number for the hotel I was staying at to let them know I'd be late. The older lady next to me asked me if she could send an email to her son to let her know she'd be delayed. I responded that I couldn't let her do that since I wasn't online. Her response "But your laptop is open".
I received a package from my mom yesterday, and she wrote a note saying that she included a "TV remote" that I'd left behind when I moved out. Thanks, Mom!! But the thing is, that's definitely a telephone!
My mom can use her computer, surf the internet, type on her iPhone. But iChat is not her strong suit and no matter how many times I tell her I know it is her, I get the same message "It's mom." I have tried to use the similarity between contacts in her iPhone pop when they call, so she know who it is each time. It doesn't matter, every IM starts with her classic introduction.
Actual text message I received from a friend today:
I won't tell you if she's a Jersey Shore fan... but you can probably guess! :)
I finally caved and bought a WiFi Nook over the weekend. After scanning the many (many!) pages of free yet oft-smutty titles, I started an eWishList so I could figure out which books I wanted to buy and load on my new device first. Today I was IMing with my mom and shared my new purchase story with her when we hit a bit of a techie lost-in-translation situation.
Me: I bought a Nook over the weekend and now I need to get some books to put on it. Do you know what that is?
My mom: I think so. Something that fits in a corner?
In her defense, I did recently move and just last week I told her about my new bookcase. I'm curious what her guess would have been if I had went with the Kindle!
After my mum constantly complaining about how much her broadband was costing her and how she kept kept going over her limit and therefore being charged excess, I tried to gently prompt her to change providers. The catch though was that she didn't want anyone coming into the house to install anything.
So hello mobile broadband. I told mum how easy it is to install, how much cheaper than her broadband it is and how much more data allowance she'll have. I kept trying to get her to buy a mobile broadband modem while I was with her so that I can make sure everything goes ok, but she kept putting it off. Finally one day she got fed up and went by herself. After being told by the salesman that all she would have to do it insert the sim card, plug it in, load up the software then login to activate, she thought she could handle that.
There was one tiny problem. He didn't make sure she knew where to insert the sim card. After trying to shove it in the only slot she could find, she decided (crafty person that she is) that it just needed trimming! So out came the craft knife.
I just wish I had of been there to see the look on the salesmans face when she went back to say that it wouldn't work...
Many of my recent trips home have centered on family game night, and while that used to mean board games, lately, and usually at my mom's urging, we end up playing a few Wii sports tournaments. Bowling is a favorite in the house, but since my Grandfather is an avid tennis player, we decided to switch it up and host a Wii tennis tournament when he came to dinner.
He stepped up, after we gave a brief how-to, and set out to take on my brother. He had his game face on, totally ready to bring on the competition. However, in prepping Grandpa to play, apparently, we missed one crucial instruction: you don't need to, nor should you make contact with your Wii controller and the television. My Dad jumped off his seat in a panic, when, on my Grandpa's first attempt to return, he approached the TV screen and whacked the Wii mote right against it. Apparently he thought there was some kind of motion censor that needed to make actual contact with the screen in order to work properly, but after inspecting the television for scratches and convincing him that this was not the case, the game continued — and dad ordered Grandpa to stay at least three feet back from the TV at all times.
A few weeks ago I hopped on the bus to commute home and sat down next to a really cute guy. I was holding my iPhone and juggling two bags and something about the way he looked at me and said hi made me nervous (he was cute, okay?). As soon as I said hi back, my phone went flying into the center aisle, rolled and stopped under a seat rows away. The entire bus full of people stopped to watch it happen. I had to put down my bags and push past people getting on to retrieve it. Talk about a walk of shame. When I got back to the seat — totally flustered — the guy looked at me and said "umm, was that the first time you dropped it?" "No," I said, "but it was certainly the most dramatic." My poor phone is all scratched up, but at least it was a funny conversation starter.