In an era of technology, I have never really had a taste of the world without at least a computer in my access. Now, this doesn’t mean I was some fat lazy child playing WoW as a child, and texting. Those things were not quite my era. But I don’t remember a time without at least dial-up internet and Windows 98. I feel if I heard the noises of a long forgotten dial-up time period, I would fear for my computer’s well-being before realizing what it was.
Today, I was just put into perspective about my knowledge of technology.
Before I delve into this fun story, I have to say, I am not a person to own an Iphone. In fact, we still only have a land line. I know, what is wrong with me? But, I also did not have a cell phone for the longest time, not until I graduated high school. It wasn’t like my parents didn’t want me succumb to the dangers of having my own technological freedom, in fact I didn’t live at home for high school, really at all (but that is a whole different mess of a story).
But after having a cell phone for two years, my husband and I decided we needed to disconnect from the world a little. I was always texting or checking my Facebook, we never really took a break to have a real talk without them, and we were paying 170 big bucks a month. Being a 20 year old mother and wife, it hit me that my priorities are off. Not saying that having a cell phone makes you the Devil himself, but we have more important things to pay for, and I am happy to say not everyone knows where I am or my personal business, and a cell phone is more of a luxury.
But I still have my computer. I am going to school for graphic design. I Pin like it’s nobody’s business. So I still have a huge separation from my older generation. And it really hit me when I had to explain the internet to my Grandmother-in-law.
Now, I love this woman. She is in her 90’s, and lives right next to my husband’s parents on the ranch. But she doesn’t know how to run that “fancy, confusing” VCR, let alone a computer. And yesterday she had a scammer call her and give her a near heart attack.
Someone had called her house, claiming to be a granddaughter of hers that lives in Alaska. This person told my poor old G-I-L that she had been flown down to Mexico for a dear friend’s funeral, and somehow ended up in jail and needed 2500 dollars to get out. Now, with my GIL growing old in age, she believed all of this, and was completely heart broken and confused. She finally got a hold of her granddaughter, and without explaining at all, asked her if she was really still in Alaska.
Poor girl was probably extremely confused or thought her grandma was finally losing it for good and convinced her she is in Alaska, and had to go because she was at work.
Now, today, I had GIL come over and explain this whole ordeal to me, and her main question was “How could someone know I have a granddaughter named Chelsea? That is not a very common name, not like Dorothy or Betty!”
There was a lot of explaining for me to do. First off, I don’t know many people named Dorothy within 10 years of my age, and I know Chelsea is more popular in the world of girl names than Jenna Jameson is in the hearts of middle school boys. But, I had to break this to her nicely. Then, came the explanation of the fact that finding out her granddaughter’s name is about the easiest thing someone can do on the Internet. This lady doesn’t even know what Google is, let alone Facebook, and you can type someone’s name into either of those and there is a 90% chance that something will come up.
The best thing I could say to this extremely old fashioned, stubborn English woman was that “It’s a lot like having lunch with someone on Facebook, except you don’t have to leave the computer, and people put a lot of information on Facebook, so it’s sad they did that, but that is probably how they figured out her name and where she lives.”
I told her some people are just extremely smart with technology and have ways of hacking into someone’s personal life, if you don’t want it out there, you have to protect yourself.
“Well, that should be illegal.” She said. Dead serious.
“It is illegal, but it isn’t going to stop some people. They are smart enough to not get caught.” I had to reply without rolling my eyes at all, which is extremely difficult, being a person with a sharp tongue and a lack of thought process on occasion.
“Well, if those people are so damn smart, then they should get a real job, and stop doing illegal things.” Again, dead serious.
I feel bad, first off that the world doesn’t work this way. Secondly, because she assumed it had.
So, after an hour and a half of explaining, she left. Still completely unconvinced that the internet had anything to do with the fact that someone knew her granddaughter’s name. I am pretty sure she is still convinced her granddaughter might be in jail, in Mexico. I now sit here, hoping I will never have to explain social networking, Google, or the commonality of the name Chelsea, again.