Nan joins the digital revolution


Look out Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and even Barack Obama.

My 99-year-old Nan is about to give you a run for your money.

According to the latest digital updates, Kevin is one of the country’s most influential tweeters, but it is Julia who has more ‘‘Klout’’.

One’s Klout score is a measure of a user’s influence across social networks, using  frequency of updates, influence and followers on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. 

Our Kevin is just behind Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Mr Obama as a tweeter of great renown.

However, they’re in for a bit of competition now. My Nan has just joined the digital revolution and after her first lesson on email she is already overtaking my husband in cyberspace skills.

With nearly a century of living under her belt, Nan decided she wanted to keep in contact with the grandkids and great-grandkids a little more frequently.

With her hearing not what it used to be – which is really the only sign of degeneration after more than nine decades  – phone communication was becoming harder to maintain. 

We’d been slowly introducing her to the digital age over the years starting with a CD player back in the ‘90s when they were still considered revolutionary technology. She bought herself a  digital TV when she moved into her new house earlier this year.

With all the younger members of the extended family constantly attached to their mobile phones, their Facebook updates, emails and yes, Twitter accounts, Nan decided  for her 99th birthday she would treat herself to a brand new, latest iPad innovation.

The device arrived on Friday and by Saturday she’d been set up with a new email address. We were all sent a reminder to  send her  messages so she could practise this new fandangled way of communicating.

As a woman whose lifetime has spanned the traditional and modern ages of learning, I figured I had better make sure my grammar and punctuation were meticulous in the message I flicked off early Sunday morning telling her I was down at the beach relaxing in the warmth of the car watching GameBoy while he braved the chill. 

Only 10minutes later I got a return message telling me I was a ‘‘squib” not venturing into the water on this lovely summer day – punctuation missing as is popular with the younger generations.

Cybergirl also received an email reminding her that she better be nice to her mother and grandmother which came as a bit of a shock after she was expecting some great-grandmother sympathy for her worries and complaints instead of a digital dressing down.

With the email now mastered, Nan is getting ready to set up a Facebook account so she can also “spy” on the great-grandkids and see what shenanigans they get up to which they mistakenly believe Nan knows nothing about.

Next I’m sure will be Twitter  and if the stories she’s recounted  and the advice she’s dished out over the decades are anything to go by, I’m sure she’ll soon have more followers than Ashton Kutcher and all without exposing more  than is fitting and proper.

Perhaps by her 100th birthday next year we’ll  have to send our new keyboard warrior off to one of the new digital detox camps  where iPads, iPhones and iPods are banned so guests can wind down and remember what life is like without being constantly plugged into the worldwide web.

In the meantime, I’m sure that #edna will soon start trending in the twitterscape and her missives will be a breath of fresh air in a world where the most mundane updates are applauded as philosophical masterpieces.


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