My mom has been a wee bit behind the technology train since, well, since the Internet became something past a dial-up modem. Even then, I don’t think she knew how to turn the computer on or off, let alone send little messages we called ‘e-mails’ to friends through that shiny, foreign machine the rest of our family called “the computer.”

She did know, however, how to successfully blast through a digital game of Solitaire. I’m pretty sure my mom thought the computer was invented strictly for Solitaire for nearly a decade.

Slowly, she ventured out…

She found Scrabble, and then she found that strange tile matching game, Mahjong. She was stuck on Mahjong for about five years.

After she mastered Solitaire, Scrabble, and Mahjong, she learned how to send an e-mail. Her e-mail address is one of those computer generated ones that make absolutely no sense; something like her name repeated twice, once backwards, with a plethora of numbers and underscores.

At that point, my dad decided it would be best to purchase her a cell phone that offered a few more options than her analog phone. My mom hollered “I don’t need a cell phone! I hate my current cell phone! Why anyone needs to phone me when I am out of the home is beyond me. Call me at home and if I am there, we can talk. Otherwise, I don’t want to talk to you if I am out enjoying myself.” 

Sure enough, within a week of owning a smart phone, my dear mother realized she could play her games, read her e-mail, and take pictures. She was in love with her new iPhone. She took it one step further and sent my dad out to buy her an iPad so she didn’t need to find her glasses before each game of Candy Crush. I’ve received many calls from her asking how to get the photos “out” of her iPhone.

After her indoctrination to Apple technology, I decided it would be a good time to introduce my mom to Facebook. My younger sister had helped her set up a profile long ago, but my mom had no idea how to log in, how to communicate with her friends, etc. I decided to sit her down one afternoon and give her a quick lesson on the application that is Facebook.

First up was her profile picture.

Me: “Mom, you look like a creepy person with that egg head default photo. You have a lot of lovely photos of yourself, let’s upload one!.”

Mom: “Upload? What the hell does that mean? And no, I don’t want to do that. I like the mystery of the ‘grey man.’ ”

So, we didn’t start off very well, but I could live with my mother and her grey man/mysterious Facebook picture. Apparently, so could she. Next up was accepting the several friend requests she had sitting waiting to be approved. 

Me: “All right Mom, these are all the people that want to be your friends on Facebook!”

Mom: “Ugh. Really? All of them?”

Me: “This is supposed to be a good thing. These people are asking to be your friends on Facebook so they can see what is going on in your life. Look how many you have!”

Mom: “What if I don’t know them or don’t want to be friends with them on Facebook or in real life?”

Me: “Hm. Well, we will just ignore those ones. They will never know. I don’t think... Now, let’s get started. First up, Susan Yule, your neighbor.”

Mom: “Absolutely not! I cannot stand that woman. She’s the one who tows all the cars away when we have multiple guests during the holidays that park out front of the house.”

Me: “Yeah, what a bitch. We should just decline her.”

Mom: “DO IT.”

Me: ((DECLINED)) “All right, continuing on! Oh, look! Isn’t this your friend from high school? How neat is that!”

Mom: “How did she find me? That is strange. I haven’t talked to her in decades. How did she find me, Ashley? How?”

I then spent the next fifteen minutes explaining the creepy ways Facebook can tie us all together based off of mutual friends, etc. She stopped and poured herself a glass of wine at that point as this was entirely too much for her.

Me: “All right mom. I ‘accepted’ her as your friend, let’s continue on, shall we?”

Mom: “Ugh.” (gulp gulp of chardonnay)

Me: “Oh! Look mom! It’s your sister! I’ll press accept!”

Mom: “Don’t you dare, young woman.”

Me: “Are you being serious? Mom, this is you sister, you know, the one who shared the same mother and father as you, the one you shared a bedroom with…”

Mom: “I know that. I don’t want anymore friends. I log on Facebook to see pictures of your child, my granddaughter, and I really don’t care to see anything else. I don’t want anymore friends. Game over. Facebook is for the birds. Can you grab me another bottle of wine out of the fridge?”

At this point I realized that Facebook was likely not something my mom was going to embrace. I asked her if she knew what her Facebook and iTunes passwords were so I could get her connected on her iPad. Naturally, she had no idea. I changed all of her passwords for Facebook and iTunes to my Facebook and iTunes passwords and explained that if she ever had a problem logging in, to phone me and I’d give her our passwords.

I saw my mom on Facebook the other day. I had a comment on a photo and then I saw that she won a bunch of points on a game offered through Facebook.

I’ve come to realize that is going to be the extent of my mother’s Facebook-ing; Facebook games and comments from her and her creepy grey man/mysterious avatar.


Ashley Alteman is known for her love of dinosaurs, ponies wearing sweaters, and overuse of commas. She is an editor’s nightmare. She won a spelling bee in the 8th grade for correctly spelling “carrot” and knew from that moment she was destined to be an amazing journalist, or a sarcastic blogger; she went with the latter. Ashley details her laugh-out-loud parenting and personal fails at You can also find this hot mess fumbling around on Facebook


  1. Bahaha. Mine asked me to teach her the twitter. I said “No. You don’t need twitter, Mom, you’re good.” “Ok, dear, if you say so.” “I do, let’s just try to get through one cell phone call without getting cut off somehow. Baby steps.”

  2. My mom recently discovered Facebook and is completely obsessed with it. Although I have to admit, her being obsessed with it is a lot of work for ME as I am constantly having to go over and teach her how to share photos and tag them and respond to messages not to mention logging her back on if she accidentally logs off. Consider yourself lucky that your mom doesn’t seem that enthusiastic about it.

    • haha! Yes, I suppose I should definitely look at it this way! Just change all of her passwords to your passwords, then she will never forget! Well, YOU will never forget! haha 😉

  3. yes! just spoke with mine yesterday. She can sew, knit, still subs at 73, has had both breasts removed, her pancreas removed, and part of her colon…..she can scrapbook, cheer for sports teams to make me blush, and has two fb pages now. Because she couldn’t remember the passwords for her first one and the email address has gotten deleted (that server vanished) and she also asked me if that ‘classmates’ thing was still around. shaking head~

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