There are certain moments in every child’s life where you get to experience your parents in a new way.
Like the first time you learn they have a name besides “mommy” or “daddy.” Or when they tell you something that seems really grown up. Or the first time they swear in front of you. These moments are, in and of themselves, watershed moments in your relationship with your parent: they have transitioned to a different appearance in your eyes, having thrown off who they were in favor of this new, different, radical persona.
These days, that moment may be when they spring into social media and pull out text-speak.
Allow me to illustrate.
On Thanksgiving, the entire family got together and introduced my mom to Facebook. And an iPhone. There was part of me that feared it might have been too much for her to figure out at once, or maybe even at all, but while she’s not technologically inclined, when my mother wants to do something, she will find a way to learn to do it. So for that, I give her a great deal of credit.
She’s learned to text, and has done so a lot lately, finding it a great way to keep in touch fairly easily.
And we signed her up for Facebook, showed her the basics of how to do things, and I’ve been very pleased and impressed with how much she’s been able to do, figure out, and not have to ask about. She’s been doing very well, especially on Facebook. There have been no memes, no over-sharing, no questionable posts referencing shady sources.
And then today, she commented on something that Jenni put up. The comment, from my mother, read simply “OMG.”
It’s akin to hearing your parent swear, especially if they’re using a word you know and probably already use very well. There’s that moment where you first just have to get over the shock of hearing them use it, because, in this case, “OMG” is not a phrase that I associate with my mother, in any sense.
Then you need to quickly ascertain if it’s being used correctly. In this case, text speak is pretty idiot proof, so it was used correctly.
Then you wonder if they know what it really means. And while I suppose that my mom could believe that “OMG” means something different, I’m pretty certain she knows it’s shorthand for “oh my God.”
I’m gobsmacked, taken aback by the post. And I think it means we’re moving on to a new phase of our life.
Maybe when they get back from vacation, I’ll introduce her to Instagram. Or Twitter. Or, God help me, Yelp.
See you tomorrow.