No Time for Skype

Jan 03

Unsurprisingly, my mom is incredibly technologically inept. Every so often I’ll browse My Mom is a FOB and alternately feel pangs of jealousy and waves of relief that these submitters’ mothers know how to text and send email (jealousy because I’d have so much more blog material if my mom were more technologically savvy, relief because I’d fear my mom scrutinizing everything I post on Facebook, Twitter, email, text, or hell, even this blog). When I was visiting Mom in October, I tested the waters and brought up the idea of her learning how to use a computer and having an email address.

Me: “Do you use a computer at all?”

Mom: “Yeah, I play games sometimes.”

Me: “Would you want to learn how to use it better so you could have email and do some other stuff?”

Mom: “Yeah, that’d be nice.”

Me: “We could email each other. I could send you pictures and stuff. It’d be a good thing for you to learn!”

Mom: “Mmm hmm. It’d be nice. I learn.”

How promising! I felt pretty good about Mom’s willingness to learn how to use email and develop a basic understanding of how the Internet and various websites work.

Me: “We could even use Skype!”

Mom: “What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a program where you can call each other on the computer and video chat. So we’d be able to see each other while we talked.”

Mom, waving her hand dismissively: “No.”

Me, confused: “Whuh?”

Mom, indignant: “I don’t have time for that.”

Me, bewildered: “What? You don’t have time for video chat?”

Mom: “No. It’s too much. No time for that.”

Me: “I don’t–why–it’s the exact same as talking on the phone, only we’d be able to see each other. That’s it! That’s the only difference!”

I tried to explain to Mom how Skype worked but she wouldn’t have it, stubbornly insisting that she had no time in her jam-packed schedule to learn how to video chat. How the hell does she justify being free to make phone calls but not having time for Skype?! They take the exact same amount of time!

This is how I felt during the conversation:

At least she didn't kill the Malaysian prime minister.

Mom: “I told you, Rebecca, no time!”

And then she left the room. End of discussion. My mother: not too busy to learn email but too busy to learn Skype, which literally consists of sitting in front of a web camera and having a conversation. I blame pepper season.

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