I suspect my mother is turning into a cyborg.
The other day I went into her room and there’s this powerstrip beside her bed, with all these charging cords coming off of it, like feelers on some sort of cyberpunk parasite looking for a meal.
Leaving aside the environmental issues here, and the bad feng shui or the electromagnetic aura around her head, I’m seriously wondering if I need to worry about them hard wiring into her brain while she sleeps, in an electronic version of the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Granted, she has a reason to nest a bit, since she’s on chemo and sometimes needful of distraction when in bed. But in addition to the iHome clock radio, which is the home base of the iPod, there’s the laptop, the iPad, the iPhone, and the Kindle. Then across the room there’s the satellite radio, the TV plus satellite receiver plus Blu Ray that connects to the Internet plus the TiVo.
It’s my fault, of course. I am a cradle Appiscopalian. I don’t so much drink the Kool-Aid as mix it in pitchers and hand it out to the kids in my neighborhood.
This is how Mom ended up with her iPad. I had decided to get one, and she wanted to go to the Apple Store with me “just to look.” So I rattle off to the Apple guy what I want (The actual purchasing part of my trips to the Apple Store are always short. The last time I was in the store, they rather pointedly told me they were hiring. I was tempted, just because of the discount.) and my Mom says, “And I’ll take one of all that, too.”
I should have known. This is EXACTLY how she ended up with her first iPhone. I mean, word for word. We sidled up to the Genius Bar, I order and she’s all “Barkeep, make that two.”
See, Mom was part of the Science Fiction Club when she was in high school. Actually, it was in the English speaking school in Mexico City, and there were two members, her and her best friend Suzy, and I believe most of their meetings involved designing space age fashions, but the point is, when Mom got the opportunity to have her own tricorder in her pocket, there was no stopping her.
So really, there’s a sort of chicken-and-egg enablement spiral going on here, since my parents are responsible for my love of science fiction, Star Trek, and gadgets. They got this newfangled thing called AOL when I was in high school and though they never really saw it’s full potential back then, I did. Suddenly I had access to a world of other people who loved dragons and spaceships and writing about them. I could fly my nerd flag high… online.
And now we’ve come full circle. Computers are cool. The top rated shows on television have either speculative fiction elements or serious geek fu. Science nerds, history nerds, we are no longer confined to Nova and National Geographic Hour on Public Television. NatGeo has it’s own channel now. There’s a whole channel devoted to Science Fiction, and Dr. Who has become slick and cool. (Okay, cool with anyone who is important to me.) Writers solve crimes on television.
And even grandmothers can become hip and wired.
Well, wired, anyway.