Technological advances have given us a staggering number of communication options. That means my kids now have unlimited ways to ignore me.
Our oldest daughter, Liz, spends a lot of time on the road for work and she has a hands-free phone that runs through the radio. She calls sometimes when she’s driving. We made a major tactical error with the youngest, however, by signing up for an unlimited text plan when Gwen went off to college. That was the last time we heard her voice.
It isn’t that she never contacts us; we get the occasional text. But I refused to learn how to text for a good long time. “If they loved us, they’d call!” I’d say to my husband. Ever practical, he shrugged, asked if I ever wanted to hear from the girls again, and dove headfirst into the world of LOLs and emoji. Eventually I caved.
For me, texting is a tortuous affair involving one tapping finger and tongue-sticking-out-the-corner-of-the-mouth concentration. This is in marked contrast to my daughters. Each could knock out a novel using just their Flying Thumbs of Fury. They can text faster than I can type using every one of my fingers and the occasional toe. They’re even faster than I was back in high school typing class when I was at the top of my game.
I also resisted the newfangled Facebook craze for ages and eventually joined only to check up on the kids. Gwen ignored my friend request for a year. I was thrilled when she finally accepted, but discovered she never posts anything. She said she and her friends now use Instagram and Snap-chat because Facebook is too crowded. The end of that sentence was unspoken, but I heard it loud and clear: crowded with old people like you, Mom.
It’s not as if I’m a techno-dinosaur; I use computers and social media for work. I’m not like my parents, bless their hearts. They were happy as clams when they had flip phones and an old, Windows XP desktop to forward email jokes. Then some well-meaning grandchild upgraded them to the latest MacBook and iPhones and set them up on Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else. No one has heard a peep out of them since, technologically speaking. They’d be marooned if they didn’t have a landline.
Although it seems like technology is conspiring with my kids to keep one step ahead of me, I’m not giving up. I’m going to check the local community college for adult education classes in Insta-Chat-a-Roo. I’m also going to keep setting a good example by how great I am at staying in touch with their grandparents.
After all, I post a message on my parents’ Facebook wall at least once a week.