Grand Mom is one tech-happy granny Print
Grand Mom
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Grand Mom column by Audrey Mettel FixmerAfter celebrating my 84th birthday recently, I went to bed feeling more warmly loved than ever before.

I had heard from all 10 of my children and most of my grandchildren. Only seven of us were on hand to gather for cake and ice cream at my daughter's house. The others were in faraway places: Philippines, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Scotland.

Did they all go out and buy a card and mail it to me? No way! They used their cell phones and computers at airports, workstations, or homes and wrote on my Facebook wall.

Portable entertainment

This all started when I finally agreed that yes, maybe I could learn to use a Kindle, and maybe find it easier to carry with me to read big books on planes and in doctors' waiting rooms, where I seem to spend too much time these days.

One of my daughters often came along with me to these appointments and would amuse me with a game of Scrabble played on her Kindle. (My love of the board game is widely known.)

The kids were delighted to buy me a Kindle Fire for Christmas.

Offered a whole new world

Of course, I was one of those multitudes of seniors who grumbled that "nothing can take the place of a good book in hand."

But when I tried my daughter's Kindle with the back lighting and discovered that I could read in bed again, I changed my mind.

And learning how to order books from Amazon and those mysterious "Apps" I kept hearing about really threw me into a whole new world.

I ordered the Scrabble game for my Kindle and through Facebook invited my grandkids to play with me. Yes, you can chalk me up as just another one of those grannies badly beaten by her grandkids.

Anyway, my family's overwhelming response to my birthday was due largely, in part, to modern technology.

I don't think or expect for one minute that they would all take the time from their busy lives to go out and buy a card and get it in the mail. If we seniors aren't willing to learn and keep up with modern technology, we must expect more loneliness and isolation.

Change keeps us young

I still am saddened to meet people my age who are refusing to become computer literate. Social media is here to stay.

Computer classes are offered in most senior centers for those who need the basics.

Libraries are also a rich source of computer wealth.

Yes, I grumble along with the best of them that we have to keep on learning new things because the changes happen so fast. But we also know in our hearts that learning and changing keep us young.

Not keeping up reminds me of that title I heard many years ago, Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.

For now I prefer to stay on and enjoy the ride, thank you.

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