The story of a computer newbie mom who decides to become cyber savvy like her children.
|I Wanna Be a Savvy Cybermom
It happened just one week ago. I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge, but I finally had to do something! It was high time I stepped up to the plate and proved what I was made of. I had exercised my patience, awaiting the time when my opportunity would present itself, and that time had at last arrived.
It was midnight and the house was sleeping. I knew my nemesis awaited me at the top of the stairs. S l o w l y I ascended to begin this long overdue battle. As I climbed, I could see the eerie glow that signified my enemy was awake and waiting. I had dreaded this for far too long—it could be delayed no longer.
At the top of the stairs, I paused, took a deep breath, and stoically entered its den. There it was, crouched, as if in ambush. With much trepidation, I approached the beast--our HP Pavilion A1101N desktop with Intel Celeron D Processor 340, with its 512MB DDR RAM, DVD/CD-RW combo drive, 100GB hard drive, and 17” flat screen monitor. Even its name terrified me.
Swallowing my fear, I drew closer. Its very design appeared geared to stifle any feeble attempts I might make in my quest to conquer it. Take, for instance, a simple thing like the power button. Did it read “on/off” like a standard switch? Or even “power?” No, of course not! It’s some sort of funky symbol. And for what purpose, if not to stop someone like me dead in my tracks? Well, it almost worked. But not quite.
No sense putting off the inevitable. It was high time I entered the realm of cyberspace to see if I could figure out just what the attraction was for all my progeny. Squeezing my eyes tightly shut, I reached for that cursed power button and pushed! And promptly realized I had SHUT the BLASTED thing off! WHAT an idiot! Didn’t I say there was an eerie glow at the top of the stairs? The darned thing was already on! So much for my being smarter than this pile of plastic, metal, and silicon, or whatever else resided inside its silver shell.
Undeterred, I pushed the power button once more. The screen slowly flickered back to life. At that point, my patience began to pay off. I had spent many hours furtively glancing over the shoulders of my children, while they manipulated this machinery and seemingly tamed it. Bit by bit, I had learned just enough to be able to venture my own attempt at mastering it.
I studied the screen--searching for anything that looked familiar that might give me an idea of how to proceed. Hmmmmm…….I seemed to recall that getting into cyberspace required using our Internet Service Provider, otherwise known as the I-S-P. Little did my children know that their loose tongues allowed me to crack their secret computer code. They probably would not have spoken so freely had they realized I was soaking up every word that might aid me in my efforts. Ah! There it is! Internet Explorer! I clicked on the little picture and up came the sign on screen. How fortunate for me that my children naively saved their screen names and passwords so they don’t have to enter them when they sign on. I clicked the connect button.
The next few hours passed in a blur. I remember bits and pieces—buttons, pop-up windows, pictures. It took me a couple of hours to get over that fear that if I clicked the wrong button, the whole thing would just blow up in my face. After my hours-long sojourn I knew no single button on that keyboard was that powerful. I was the one with the power--I was drunk with it! No longer did I need to fear this technology. I had lassoed it ‘round the neck and held on for all I was worth! I had broken the beast!
At the end of my trip on the information highway, I dragged myself, wearily, to bed. Soundly I slept, secure in the knowledge that the beast had not gotten the best of me.
The next morning, I happily traipsed downstairs and into the kitchen where my children sat expectantly awaiting breakfast. Smugly, I greeted them. My you-can’t-tell-me-anything-I-don’t-already-know 10-year-old son took notice of my merry mood and questioned the reason for it. To which I proudly replied, “I am pleased to report that last night I went to the web! I browsed and surfed, and googled and oogled, and IM’d and chatted. I used the ISP to go to MSN and get smart about IBMs, CD-ROMs, the ESN, the FBI, the CIA, and the U P S!” At that point, my son just rolled his eyes and made that gagging motion that I’m so fond of. Okay…….So maybe I haven’t quite mastered the lingo, but I am headed in the right direction.