Thursday, February 9, 2012

TECHNOLOGY: Threat to Mental Health

I stand corrected.

Climbing Mount Everest barefoot and blind-folded is not the most difficult thing in the world. Teaching my mom the concept of e-mail is.

Last week, Mama expressed her desire to correspond with her brothers and sisters in the States. The wonderful daughter that I am, I set forth to assist her in creating a Gmail account. I figured, it would just take 2 minutes, tops. She mastered playing computer Solitaire in no time, so this will just be a breeze.

Again, I stand corrected.

Looking back, I should have realized that Solitaire is a game played using the mouse. You click on a card and drag it anywhere on the screen. I never realized that for my mother, the keyboard is altogether a different animal.

For starters, she types like a 'Pison' driving through a School Zone -- stalking the keyboard like Sherlock Holmes doing a forensic on a crime scene. And then, when the individual letter is successfully triangulated, she gently presses on it like the bomb disposal unit hoping not to set off an explosive. This usually results in 'RRRRRRRR' instead of just 'R'.

I asked her what username she wanted to use. Who would have thought it would lead to a long, drawn out discussion of what a 'username' actually is?!

A 'username' is your name, but it's really not automatically your name since you can use a different name as a username. It doesn't even have to be really a name. It may even look like a password with numbers on it. So in short, a 'username' is anything you wanted it to be. Unless somebody is already using that username.

Instead of waiting for her username and grow old in the process, I took charge and filled out the details: her birthday, her 'other' email address. I also typed the 'captcha'. (Didn't want to get into a discussion of what that is)

After everything was in order, I handed back keyboard control, claiming, 'Ayan ma, may Gmail account na po kayo.'

Despite the ordeal, it was a poignant moment. It was as if life was coming full circle. Here's this woman who took care of me, who spent sleepless nights changing my diapers, who patiently taught me how to tell time, who made delicious sandwich everyday. Now, a few years down the road, it's my turn, repaying with the simple act of creating an email account. I felt happy and satisfied with myself.

I was still in Cloud 9 when I overheard mama asked, 'So anak, pwede na kaming mag Skype ng tita mo nito?'

Diana Lutgarda P. Bonilla, Blog Entry #8

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