This is not what this post was supposed to be.

Yesterday I finally persuaded (some would say nagged) my mother into setting up a blog. It’s only a baby blog at the moment, just one post before she put the computer down and ran away, but it is a blog. It’s quite a big step for her.

Being my mother, she’s of a very different generation to me. Where I can just about remember getting our first computer when I was about 8, she can remember getting their first TV. I’ve been blogging for nearly as long as I can remember, on one service or another, and she has got the hang of Facebook and Skype. I have three Twitter accounts, she does not. I do my own HTML, she… doesn’t.

So the process of setting up her blog was frustrating for both of us, because for me it’s something completely natural that I can’t explain and for her it’s something totally new that she can’t understand. I know that she’ll pick it up just like she did Facebook, if she uses it enough. We can only get her off that these days by waving Pratchett books in front of her face, so maybe the blogging wasn’t such a good idea. My hope is that she’ll eventually blog for work.

But it reminds me more than anything of how utterly connected my generation are. I have friends in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada, spread across Europe, in the Philippines, China and Japan, and up and down the UK. I speak to people in different timezones more often than I speak to people I grew up with. In the space of a month, I’ve gained 100 followers and had 1000 views on here (hello and thank you!) from a sometimes bizarre scattering of countries.

Since I was in my mid teens, it has been perfectly normal for me to have friends I’ve never met in brickspace, but I’ve also never been afraid to do so. As soon as I arrived in Melbourne I was in touch with a friend who showed me around the city. When I hit the backpacker trail my only long stays were with friends, some of whom then came and stayed with us back here.I was introduced to my ex, who lived in the same city as me, by a mutual friend who lived across the Atlantic when she came to visit. People say that the rules are changing, but they’re wrong.

The rules have already changed.

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6 thoughts on “This is not what this post was supposed to be.

    • It really is amazing how we can reach out and connect with so many people now. All my distant friends are now on my ‘to visit’ list, which is getting lengthy.

  1. *nods* I agree wholeheartedly. Admittedly, I was 14 when we got our first PC (56k dial-up modem FTW!) – but had been exposed to BBC Micros, Commodore 64s, Master Systems and Mega Drives since primary school so was familiar with them. They held no fear. My father didn’t exactly grasp the nettle, but he does use a laptop for work and is able to navigate the internet (which he and my mother refer to as “The Net” – capital letters included). I once walked my mother through booting up a PC and opening Word over 10 years ago – she followed that up by saying she had to go and do some hoovering and hasn’t touched it since.

    Now she wants a Netbook – or even better, an iPad.

    But, yes, sorry, off-topic. My teenage years were spent being connected to people I’d never seen, and I always preferred their company to those around me. I’m now married to one of them.

    • Parents with computers are half adorable, half terrifying. And I’m friends with my mother and many of her friends and relatives on Facebook, so I have to be so careful on there.

      And yes, the internet is wonderful for introducing us to people we could never have met otherwise. Sometimes we get lucky and there’s someone who matches our interests right next door, but the internet gives us a lot more next doors.

      • Definitely widens the net (no pun intended). Interpipe is also very handy for me as a genealogist, and I’m friends with aunts, uncles and cousins of varying degrees that I’d otherwise find it difficult to connect with.

      • My mum met someone through Richard III campaigning who turned out to have an ancestor from the same village and with the same name as some of hers. We’ve run into the problem of non-conformists who couldn’t remember how old they were, so we’ve not made the link concrete yet, but it’s amazing who you can bump into, as it were.

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