The apocalypse is upon us.
No, I’m not talking about global warming, natural disasters, or House being canceled (God forbid).
My grandmother is on Facebook.
Granted, she calls it “the Book of Face” and expects people to know what she’s talking about. But she has a profile. I should know. I had to set it up for her.
My grandmother and technology are not friends. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’re arch enemies. Like if technology is Batman, my grandmother is the Joker. If it’s Superman, she’s Lex Luther. If technology is me, she’s spiders. You get the idea.
Maybe that’s a little harsh. It’s not that she TRIES to foil technology. She does it unwittingly. On a daily basis.
For example, when I was in college, she got her first computer and decided that she wanted Instant Messenger. Of course, she probably thought this was related to Instant Coffee in some way (my grandmother is the Queen of Malapropisms. She’s been known to take the “HIV Lane” when she’s got someone else in the car with her, and she may believe that the SATs are what you get when you have unprotected sex), but she’d heard of it, so she wanted it even though she didn’t have any idea what it was. And I, thinking, “cool, this’ll be a great way to keep in touch with her while I’m at college,” obliged.
Maybe the problem was that I didn’t explain the concept well enough. Because every time she sent me an IM, it was about six pages long, and she signed it, “Love ME (Grandma)” at the end. Every time. Which annoyed the crap out of me, because people who say “it’s me” on the phone or sign things that way irritate me to an inordinate degree (because if you don’t know who it is, that doesn’t help, and if you DO know who it is, it’s unnecessary), but in an IM? It says who it is at the top of the screen! Then she was SHOCKED when I would reply, because she’d JUST sent her message to me and she didn’t understand how I knew she had just sent it.
Unfortunately, Instant Messenger stopped working on her computer one day. (When I deleted the application. Oops.) And I just couldn’t seem to get it working again. What a shame.
But that didn’t stop Grandma from using email and other forms of technology as they became available.
Which led to the password problem. I tend to use variations of the same three passwords for most of my accounts. Smart? Maybe not. But I seldom have trouble remembering what my password is. My grandmother, on the other hand, has a different password for every single thing on the internet. And in theory, she writes them down. But, in a world with HIV Lanes on 270, passwords sometimes go missing. And then I have to walk her through the steps of password retrieval. Over the phone. Not good.
(Although trying to get her to remember her password has one upside: it causes lots of profanity. Which I find absolutely hilarious. There’s nothing funnier than when my grandma drops an F-bomb. It’s like when Betty White does it. Seriously. If I put a video of her trying to figure out her passwords on YouTube, she’d be famous within an hour. Then she would murder me. But it might be worth it.)
So when I finally figured out what she meant when she told me that she wanted to get the Book of Face, I decided it would just be easier if I set it up for her. Being the good granddaughter that I am (although I suppose if I was THAT good, I wouldn’t be blogging about this experience. Please don’t cut me out of the will, Grandma! I love you!), I went over there to help her.
Name: no problem. Education: no problem. Interests: no problem. Picture: problem.
I had several pictures on my page that had her in them, and I suggested that we crop one of those to use as her profile picture.
“But I look so OLD in those pictures,” she complained.
“You ARE old,” I thought, but tried not to say. I didn’t quite succeed. But to appease her, I did try to find a picture where she looked LESS old to use. All of them were denied.
Finally, joking, I pulled up a picture of her and my grandfather from right before they got married.
“Perfect,” she said. “Can we take your grandfather out of the picture though?”
“Um, Grandma? This picture was taken 63 years ago.”
“I know, that’s why it’s perfect. I want my old boyfriends to be able to find me.”
(While this conversation is going on, mind you, my grandfather was downstairs sleeping in his easy chair.)
In my head, I tried to explain the ridiculousness of this to her. Her old boyfriends are probably dead. If they aren’t, they probably aren’t on the Book of Face. AND HER HUSBAND IS DOWNSTAIRS. But I looked at my grandmother and realized that none of these arguments would get me anywhere. So I sighed and cropped my grandfather out of the picture.
So in her facebook picture, my grandmother is nearly ten years younger than I am now.
See what I mean? The apocalypse is coming.
But I should really stop making fun of her lack of internet skills. Not because it’s mean, but because I recently sat down with my best friend to try to learn about using Twitter. And I thought she was talking about drugs when she started explaining hashtags.