Monday, May 20, 2013

Grandmas On the Internet

I remember the first time I was exposed to the beginnings of the internet. I was in a computer lab in college working on some project and a fellow student told me to come over and look at something. He showed me how he could go to this address and follow directories down to this particular folder belonging to someone and it was full of pictures... dirty pictures, if you know what I mean. So I understand when others have said that the first two areas to utilize a new form of media is porn and religion.

Back then, when you found a site that you wanted to return too, you wrote down the address as a series of numbers and dots on a piece of paper. Eventually those address got emailed around to a group of friends websites became famous by word of mouth. Soon though a browser hit the scene and made things much easier to find. I remember Netscape as the browser I was first introduced too.

Decades have gone by and I am amazed often at how much things have changed. My daughter is growing up in a world that I never knew at her age and will never be able to imagine a world without the internet. But the world changes and so we must... that is unless we have a finite time left in the world and choose just to ride things out the way they are... or were.

That brings me to the reason for this post. My grandparents are getting along in years and a handful of years ago, made it into the cellphone age. They still turn the thing off when home in Florida and only turn it on occasionally if they need to make a call.  Because of this, I assumed that they would just avoid the whole computer and internet thing altogether. They probably would have if not for another lady in their retirement village who convinced my grandmother to give it a try. My grandmother bought a laptop and someone else was able to connect her up to the internet.

Last Christmas during our visit in Florida, we spent time showing her the ropes of connecting to the internet, what the internet was and how to email people. Once we all got back home, several of us in the family sent her an email to give her some practice. In the response I got back, the entire body of the email was typed in the subject line.

A few weeks later, my grandmother tried to forward me something via email but whatever it was never came through. I emailed her back with general directions of how to forward emails to other people and two tries later, she succeeded. Her first forwarded email to me was one of those spam emails telling some touching story and warning people to forward it on to ten people less the chain be broken. It kind of struck me humorous. Several months have passed and other than the occasional picture I email to her of her great granddaughters, life has continued. Then last week I received the first email from her since the chain breaking spam one. This time is was one of those emails full of pictures on some cute subject like mothers feeding their young of various species. I got to give it to my grandma, at least she is still trying.


Vince said...

Why don't you show her how to skype.

Ed said...

Vince - Unbelievably to me, they only have dial up so are not able to handle video chat services.

Vince said...

That must be an achievement in Florida nowadays. I read someplace that it's the most wired State, something to do with ease of trunking. Well, it's basically a great linear loop.

Bone said...

That's adorable, really.

Heck, it still takes some getting used to for me to think about my Dad being on Facebook and selling stuff on Ebay. I guess a Smartphone is the next step. I can't even begin to imagine that.