It was during last year’s visit when my Mom asked me, full of both innocence and curiosity, to explain Twitter to her- we had a good time after I seeded the request for an explanation out to my contacts, and did they ever respond. We captured that conversation in audio a year ago — see Twitter in Mom English.
This year was the follow-up…. a few months ago, thinking a bit of a nicer version of ShitMyDadSays, I decided to create a Twitter account for Mom, and then I would try and tweet some of the funny or insightful (or both) things she says during our weekly phone calls. You can follow here via @alycecookie.
So tonight, I sat her down to show her how it worked. I showed her the cookie icon I added, and the bio I made up for her:
I showed her some of the @replies people sent her way:
And then we picked a few for her to practice following and replying, making sure we tagged @djakes who spent a year making fun of my spaghetti mixup last year (where I used a jar of salsa instead of Prego for a dinner I made for Mom).
It was fun, and I again recorded our conversation:
Mom was a good sport about it, and enjoyed seeing a few messages to her, but it seemed a bit like sensory overload. She usually says, “Oh I never go on the web on my computer, just email” and does not fully grasp when i try to explain how her email (web-based) is on the web. So I figured it was good for a fun evening before we popped a video in the DVD player.
After the movie, as I sat down in my office to compose this blog post, she poked her head in to say, “So, has anyone responded to me yet on the Twitter?” I tried to explain that sometimes it takes a day, but gave it a peek. Sure enough, @jimgroom played it perfectly:
which pleased Mom no end (see her reply).
And it even gets better. She then asked, “You will have to show me how to get this on my computer. I just need to type a thing in the place at the top?”
I think the Twitterverse may have increased by one tonight.
For all the ways one might try to explain twitter via detailed descriptions or examples or metaphor reaching, sitting down and spelling it out for your parents may be the ultimate approach.