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Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Mom Went Cyber

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 10:15pm

I asked my mom’s permission to publish this.

It was not until today that I saw how the Information Superhighway could be of any significance to my mom. She is not just into it. Tell her all the amazing things Facebook could do to reunite old friendships, how one could do away with long distance telephone fees in exchange for free, audio/visual livestream communication over Skype, and she will just tell you three words: “Oh I see,” and go back to her routines.

My mom belongs to the generation of walkers and of waiters or people who walked to school, to church, to anywhere because there was nothing to keep up with, and people who did not mind waiting: for letters to be sent, or for money to arrive.

I, on the other hand belong to the flat generation, when it does not matter if I am in the Philippines wanting to have a friend in Timbuktu. Making friends is now just a few clicks away. I have made many myself, especially in high school when the Internet was just becoming popular. I have tried cyberchatting a lot of times, many of which were just a way to kill time.

My mom chatted with one of her closest friends today. Just so she would appreciate cyberchatting, I volunteered to type for her and read the messages (with feelings). My mom would listen carefully and make comments like, “Oh really?” and I had to type just that. I could not leave out a word, otherwise, it would not sound like her. For my mom, verbal nods and mentioning of names matter, so I had to remember this. I had to relay different stories: updates, changes, sad and happy ones.

Then I had to do something else and my mom had to be the one typing now. I gave her the instructions: what to press and where to look. One time, I assured her that pressing “shift” instead of “enter” would not blow my laptop up. The lines on her forehead started to show up and she was thinking and typing aloud. She was slow at first, her friend might have thought our internet connection slowed down. After awhile, she made some progress. She typed faster and stopped asking me questions. She looked engaged, I had to discreetly warn my brothers not to mockingly laugh at her. She typed in complete words, with her oh-i-see’s and the like. She was in it for awhile until she had to go back to her routines: household chores and all.

But she would probably cyberchat again some time not because she has made a friend in a chatroom but because she has talked to an old one in it.

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