What Have We Done?

By: Brandy Walker

Photo Credit: Wales Online

Let me start by saying that I love my mother dearly. The feelings and opinions that are expressed here are made purely out of love. According to Pew Research, my mother is considered to be a “Younger Boomer.” This age group includes anyone who was born between 1955 and 1964. Together, they make up about twenty percent of all internet users.

For a very long time my mother was part of the eighty percent who were not well acquainted with the internet. I can recall a time when my mother would call me or one of my siblings whenever she needed to do anything online. Sometimes it would be to pay a bill, to research health symptoms, or even to locate her long lost friends from her childhood. I didn’t mind helping her, but she expected me to drop everything that I was doing and take on the role of her personal assistant. Aside from being a full-time college student, I also have a husband and kids who take up the bulk of my time.

I wanted to help her by teaching her how to be more self-sufficient online, but at first she was very afraid that she would break something or cause some type of damage. I explained to her some of the benefits of using the internet. The Huffington Post says, “Studies show that the internet has become an important portal for reducing isolation, loneliness and other depressive symptoms.”

After much hard work and persuasion we were able to break through to her. On January 10, 2016, we finally convinced her to join Facebook. She immediately began to locate old classmates, and the rest is history! Since then, we have not been able to keep her off.

My 30-year-old brother is often annoyed because she comments on everything that he posts. She even called and woke me up super early one Saturday morning (my only day to sleep in) because she couldn’t log on to Facebook. She wanted to know if I was having problems too. “Mom, I was sleep.” I just laid there and laughed to myself. What have we done? We have created a Facebook monster!

Despite her tendencies to bug us about Facebook, deep down, I am really proud of her for facing her inner internet fears. When I look at my mother’s new-found love for Facebook, I’m glad that she has found an outlet to learn new things and reach out to her loved ones.

 

Citations:

Zickuhr, Kathryn. “Generations 2010.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. N.p., 16 Dec. 2010. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

MPS, Anita Kamiel RN. “A Hot Trend: The Internet, Social Media & The Elderly.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 07 Mar. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

 

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism