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Mom and phones don't mix

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Avatar for zolabundance2
Written by   124
1 month ago

It was a few years back when my mother first got an android phone. For the most part, she was content using digital phones (after years of analog) because all she did was text and call. Browsing the Internet baffled her and it wasn't something she needed.

Even with the android, her primary phone was still the digital model. It was probably three years ago when I upgraded her to digital, the iconic Nokia 3310 latest model. Upgrading her phone is not easy because it takes her forever to learn and get used to working any new model or brand.

By the time she's gotten the hang of her phone, it would be years later and unless the battery's lost its life or the keypads have all but disappeared from overuse, she doesn't like learning how to use a new one.

Prior to the 3310, she was also using an older Nokia model so I thought since it was basically the same - save for higher specs - it should be a breeze for her to use. How silly of me to even think that!

Back button

Still, exploring how a digital phone works was not as terrifying as an android, at least for my Mom. But you can bet that even if everything has been set up for her, she'd suddenly pop up behind you or call out because she pressed some wrong key or button accidentally and would lose whatever it was she was doing.

We keep telling her to just hit the BACK button and she'd either go back to what she was originally doing (usually typing a a kilometer-long text message) or to the home screen so she can start over again.

Anyways... I know it took a long time for her to try using the android phone. It looked too complicated and intimidating, especially because its operation was by touchscreen. When she finally did, it was days of asking a) how she would get to some app or b) why something she was viewing or working on suddenly disappeared.

What she did like about the android was the camera. She loves plants and our place is almost like a forest, with plants of every size, shape and color. Samsung was always known for having pretty decent cameras so she enjoyed being able to take photos of her garden or new growth or acquisition. Besides, she loved attending garden fairs and exhibits so that came in handy. (All this was pre-pandemic, of course).

Lag, freeze, stop

However, that Samsung model wasn't really built to last. When she finally mustered enough courage to go online and connect via Viber or Messenger with her group of friends, and fill her storage with photos, it began to lag and that presented another challenge for her. Often, she'd be annoyed and frustrated because she would be in the middle of a chat, text or call and the phone would suddenly freeze on her!

One day, when she was able to go out with a friend briefly, Mom came home and said she saw a phone that looked good enough at a reasonable price. We checked this out, and its RAM and Storage capacities would suit her needs. She didn't mention this again.

I had niece - who just purchased a new phone herself - check out similar specs with another brand that cost less or the same, and she lucked out on one that was on sale from the brand's online store, and could be delivered.

Enter new phone

Must've been fated to get her the phone, because niece received a text that they could deliver in a couple of hours since they were just within the area. Wow! This got me rushing to the bank for funds (it was COD) to make it back before it was delivered.

Since it wasn't her primary phone (it's still the Nokia) transferring files and contacts didn't take long. It was cleaning out her gallery that was time consuming. When we presented it to her, she was both pleased and worried. Another phone to learn!

Finally, she could join one group in their daily novena via Zoom! And the phone wouldn't lag even with several apps running at the same time.

The challenge now was how to use it and maneuver from one app to another, or go online, and check her Facebook or go to You Tube for her online mass.

How does she do it?

It baffles us how she operates the phone. It's very sensitive to the touch, and when she swipes, instead of just a finger motion, she uses so much force so the screen seems to fly and is uncontrollable, at least for her.

The next problem is not paying attention to what's onscreen. She keeps pressing stuff, that would take her to some other page, then a pop-up would appear and she'd forward a message to a wrong recipient, or worse, erase some pinned message!

Several times, a friend would call on the landline to tell her she'd forwarded an image, or message to their group that had absolutely nothing to do with them!!! Then she'd come to us, looking all innocent about what happened, defending herself that she didn't know how it happened. Duh!!

Each time the phone rings, she has to find someone to help her answer it rather than look at the screen and swipe to answer or press ANSWER.

Then there is her Zoom novena... this is a daily thing, with the same meeting room and passcode. We've shown her step-by-step what to do. But you can bet every 4 PM, she'd be searching us out with her phone asking for help how to join the meeting... again.

This is without fail. And for sure that's not the only time she's going to holler for help, during that 30-minute period. *Palm slap on my forehead*

It's gotten to a point where I, my sister or my niece, want to scamper away around this time so we don't get caught to do these things for her, and maybe she'll figure it out herself. However, she seems to have this sixth sense about where to find us, huhuhu!

Upon observation how she uses her brand-new phone that runs like a breeze, we noted she's heavy-handed, even just typing. It's not a light touch of the thumb that's why she hits more keys than is necessary. Plus, she types really loooong messages. And she really doesn't look, I mean look closely at what's popping out on screen.

Cancel, back, or arrow back, done... these are the common choices. She panics over them, instead of paying attention to what it's asking her to do.

We keep telling her to love her phone, be patient, and read. But it must be the thought that someone's always around to assist that's why she doesn't care to keep these in mind. *eyes rolling round and round and I'm dizzy*

I know, she's old and needs us to be patient. But egad! We can't keep up with this... And by the way, I am not a Viber-lover! It gives me a headache using that app, so it's doubly challenging for my mother. Hayst!

This post is a take-off from @emily2u who wrote about dealing with her folks in their use of phones. Thanks for the idea!

Images from Unsplash

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Avatar for zolabundance2
Written by   124
1 month ago
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Comments

I can still remember how I taught my Mom in using her first android phone. So funny that your mom and her are the same

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1 month ago

Generational gap, perhaps? I so envy the elderly who are brave enough to explore and navigate new technology. We just didn't luck out on them, yeah? hahaha

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1 month ago

Hahaha I had fun reading the antics of your mom, cos my mom is the same. Forwarded stuff to others on WhatsApp.. and claimed she wasn't the one who did it. It's supposed to be touchscreen but to her, it's like "press screen" LOL

I keep telling her to READ what's on the screen, since she knows English but maybe asking is easier. Yet, when it's shown to her, her eyes are somewhere else, like not paying attention.

Haha... let's bear with our parents. Ommmmm

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1 month ago

"Press screen" hohoho! Must be... What is it about them reading prompts? My mom looks but does not see. hihihi

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1 month ago

ahahaha I guess we gave our parents many frustrations as well when we were kids. Now is our turn to "suffer".

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1 month ago

I think a lot of older people have the same thing happen to them. That's why they always say that they long for the past without so much technology... Be patient with your mother.

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1 month ago

My mom still uses a keypad phone she doesnt want to use a touch screen phone hehehe

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1 month ago

Bingo! My mom is a social animal so being locked in, she needed another way to connect with her amigas.

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1 month ago

Aw ok hahhaha thats why hehe

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1 month ago

I find this cute and frustrating at the same time! We need patience and I have the same issues with my mom. She used a blackberry with a physical keyboard and going to a touch keyboard was quite atask! But now she is an expert at messaging!

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1 month ago

Before I changed to touchscreen, I was using Nokia E71 which also has a QWERTY keypad. I really loved it and could compose full articles on it as well. It took some time to get the hang of touch screen.

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1 month ago

Good for her! I think she really wants to learn to do things on her own. Can't say the same for my mother.

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1 month ago