The Digital Senior


My 79 year-old mother has discovered social media and technology.  I’m not going to lie–I’m freaking out.  First she found Facebook.  I thought this would be great.  She’d stay connected, keep up to date on family and friends.  Maybe post the occasional senior thought.

Then she called to say she and her BFF looked up all their old boyfriends and were planning to drive cross-country to see the guys who were still living.

“Mom, are you sure this is a good idea?  Do they know you’re coming?”

“They don’t know yet.  But who doesn’t love a visit from an old friend?”

I never thought I’d say this, but for the first time, I’m glad for the Covid-19 lockdown.

I didn’t worry too much when my mother started friending my FB friends.  But then she started contacting people I might have some distant connection to professionally.

“I’m friends with all these children’s authors now!  You should see me!  BTW, do you know Jerry Spinelli?”

“Mom, yes, everybody knows him.  Why?”

“He’s going to write to me.  What do you think he wants?”

And there goes any small chance I had of being legit in the children’s book world.

I can kind of ignore what she’s doing on FB, but last night I get this text. “I’m going out now, so I can’t talk.  Remind me to tell you about my texting a complete stranger last night at eleven o’clock.”

And then she waltzes off to Price Chopper for Cheetos and Lorna Doones.

Wait, what?

It’s a pretty long story and if my brother reads this post, he’ll leave quarantine to take away her privileges, so I’ll just tell the short version.  She got a call from somebody in her area code and she was curious.  Most of us would realize this is a wrong number or spam and let it go.  Not her.  She called, and when a guy answered, she hung up.  Twice.

So the guy texts her and says, “Hey, you called and ghosted me?  You &%$#@

She texts back, “Who dis?”

He says, “Isn’t this Corey’s number?”

By the end of the exchange an HOUR later, he was thanking her for her service as a nurse.  And telling her she was better conversation than that punk, Corey any day.

Just before she signed off he told her to reach out if she needed anything.

She told him she would cause we’re all in this together.

I’m monitoring her closely now for everybody’s sake.  But if somebody you don’t know waves at you on Facebook, it’s probably just my mom.


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