My mom is not usually the first in line to try new technology. But, once she does give it a try, she becomes an overnight convert, embracing it with devoted fervor.
It first started with e-mail. She was a little reluctant and unsure about it. But when she figured it out, my inbox would never be lonely again. In fact, we communicated almost entirely through my college years through daily (usually multiple times a day) e-mail. (Except for my crisis of the week, which could only be handled on the phone.) I’m not complaining at all about the volume of her e-mail. I think we learned a lot about each other and our lives through them, and she thoughtfully made me a binder with a print-out of the highlights after I graduated.
Then, soon after, she discovered free Blue Mountain e-cards. Though I have no evidence to prove it, I know she became their most loyal customer. She sent cards for the obvious occasions (birthdays, holidays), but she’d find cards for more obscure reasons, too. I passed a test? I had a card with jumping frogs to congratulate me. I was feeling sad? There would be a card with dancing mice that said “cheer up.” Sadly, blue mountain starting charging for their cards. (Maybe my mom drove their costs up? Kidding, Mom!) But her greetings still came in the form of tried-but-true e-mail.
Her most recent technology trick she’s found is courtesy of Smiley Central. Really, I think my dad inadvertently downloaded it, but she found it on their computer. And her e-mails will never be the same again. If you’ve never heard of Smiley Central, it’s a program you can download that has a variety of smile icons you can add for emphasis to your e-mail. And if you think the smiley only comes in the form of the traditional yellow face and smile, you are very mistaken. There are perhaps thousands of smileys, expressing virtually every emotion possible, in every color and shape imaginable. Some are animated, and some even have audio clips saying certain phrases. I joked with her that she could probably compose an entire e-mail with just smileys. (And she did, which made me laugh.)
I love her e-mails and her smiles - those in e-mail form, and, of course, her real ones. I look forward with excitement to the next technology hurdle she leaps. It might very well be adding her comments to my blog posts (she hasn’t mastered that yet). But you’ll know it when she does. You’ll see quite a bit more comments saying, “Bravo!” and “Yay, Tootie!” And that makes me smile.