I don’t know about you but my parents, my children’s grandparents have discovered the wonders of social media. It does help! Since we live thousands of kms away from each other social media has been one of our best friends.
We FaceTime almost everyday, they get to see their grandchildren grow, they got to see their new granddaughter before they arrived 1 month later – that was a tough one and FaceTime still doesn’t compensate the happiness of being present when a new baby is born. It has become their morning breakfasts routine. But…. this newly found freedom and cost effective way of communication comes trouble.
Not only grandparents, but also older relatives and friends, since they’ve discovered Facebook they have become fierce advocates for animal rights, human rights, environment protectors. It comes in hundreds of daily shared posts with videos or photos to announce to everyone what is wrong with the world.
I love my parents and to be honest I really like to get a comment or a like from them in response to my posts but… they comment like they are writing a novel. They carefully choose their words, their emojis (yes they found those!) and then they will reply to several comments made by my friends. I love it 🙂
Their friends also have poetry veins… So funny to see some of their posts and the following thread of comments.
My dad just discovered this when staying with us in Singapore! He would FB message my mum (she was upstairs in her room) just to tell her that dinner was on the table. It was that amusing to him. He also found it extremely useful to see who was online and who wasn’t, who received the message and who has read it! I’ve unleashed a “stalker” by uploading Messenger on his phone.
My dad has a bad habit of always picking up the phone when overseas. And if he misses a call he will be very stressed until he calls the person back to know who wanted to speak to him. You can imagine the phone bills after a month in Singapore with people in Portugal calling him. I can already hear my mum go ballistic and say that she had warned him many times.
But now that he has FaceTime, he thinks everyone will also have FaceTime! He tries to FaceTime everyone that called him even though I have told him, many times, that it only works if both people have iPhones.
They didn’t grow up with technology and it amazes me how they try to keep up with all the changes that we are witnessing. They do say (and I remember) that when I was young, their ‘mobile phone’ to call me when I was outside the house playing was to shout my name out the window. They say that technology is pretty incredible and still there are things they find hard to believe or understand that they are real.
Even the simple invention of Graham Bell is something my dad still says confuses him, that how can one voice in one country be heard in another? He’s not a scientist, neither am I, so I do share this awe with him and everyday I thank the power of technology because it makes living far away from them easier. But at the same time I worry how my children will grow up, how technology will change and affect them. I hope that I can teach them to use it wisely, to be safe and smart, to know who they are talking to and not get affected by the trolls they may find in their way.
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About the Writer
Rita Silva Bishop is Co-Founder of MumRadar and lives in Singapore with her husband and four daughters. Originally from Portugal, Rita had a career in the fast-paced world of Motorsport event management before starting a family. With the craziness that comes from being a parent to four girls five and under, she has a passion for helping mothers overcome the challenges of motherhood and make life simpler.