Carrie and I had a bet. Actually, I don’t know if it’s considered a bet when we are both wagering on the same side? I suppose it is, though, if the other side of the bet is “being shocked.” Our bet was that my mom would have downloaded exactly ZERO books on her Nook since the last time she was at our house. This is a safe bet. But nothing could have prepared us for what followed.
First Nook Step: Power
Mom and Dad brought Slider back (which was shocking in and of itself), and Mom made sure to bring her Nook Color along so that we could help her and possibly loan her some books. Carrie thought that’s how it was going to go: Mom would never send her credit card through the scary internets and instead just borrow from us, if we could figure out how the Rochester Library “LendMe” function worked, of course. I assumed Mom hadn’t figured that out yet.
So in she came. We ate lunch and had a very nice time. Then we decided to break out the technology. We asked our bet-oriented question. “Have you downloaded any books since you were here last?”
She looked at us. She looked at us in a very guilty, I-secretly-ate-your-Girl-Scout cookies way. Then she sighed. Then she spoke. She spoke clearly and articulately, the way you might plead guilty in the dumbest lawsuit ever to watching too much Kardashian news… or sitting through a 3-hour episode of The Bachelor… or having spent two nights completely ignoring your wife in honor of adding color and pie charts to your fantasy baseball spreadsheet.
She looked at us and this is what she said:
“I couldn’t remember how to turn it on.”
Second Nook Step: Shock and Awe
Now, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with a Nook Color but there are approximately five buttons on it. There are two on the right side (up and down arrows) that serve as volume control. A little “n” on the bottom is to wake it up from sleeping. The button on the left side is the power button.
That’s it. Those are the buttons. The rest is all touch screen. There aren’t a ton of options. This is part of the allure of buying one for your 60-something mother.
“It’s fully charged, though,” she offered, handing the machine to me, searching for approval of this step. Then she smiled.
As a result, I said, “Good,” and leaned over, hit the OTHER button, and watched the screen dazzle to life.
“Oooooo,” she said and why wouldn’t she be amazed? It was as though she was TURNING IT ON FOR THE SECOND TIME.
Third Nook Step: Move Past Home Screen
From here, we began to seek out the LendMe function, which I actually struggled with because I couldn’t figure out how to load any contacts with whom to share. And I refused to watch the instructional video at nook.com.
We’re going to pause here for a special edition of Wonky Whining
Why do you have videos on your website? These are not helpful. The way I see it, videos require two senses. I have to look and listen. The more senses I have to use, the fewer brainwaves I have available to then do what I originally logged into the video to do. It’s stupid and it doesn’t make sense. I need the information I need. I do not desire to spend 4 minutes and 32 seconds with your fake happy smiley woman telling me how to turn on the Nook Color. WHO NEEDS A FAKE HAPPY SMILEY WOMAN TO TELL THEM HOW TO TURN ON THE…
Final Step: Facebook
Next, I finally scratched hitting the same button over and over on the LendMe app and said, “That’s it. You’re joining Facebook.” So this is how I got my parents onto Facebook. (I saw my mom “liked” something today and I almost beamed with pride.) Then we set her up and she added some friends.
Soon enough, one friend sent her a message with the news that someone close to her had died. My mom looked at the message and said, “Oh, that’s too bad. I’m sorry to hear that.” We continued to fritter around with it, showing her how to log in and out. (I resisted asking if she needed me to remind her how to turn on her computer).
As we were wrapping up, I said, “Don’t forget to respond to Marcia’s post.”
She looked at me, puzzled. “I already did that, didn’t I?”
Then I looked at her with a strong air of seriousness. “No.”
She said, “I could have sworn I responded to her.”
I looked at her again. “No, you said, “Oh that’s too bad, I’m sorry to hear that.” But you SAID this out loud, Mom. Marcia cannot hear you speak.
“I can see it now,” I continued. “You’ll be logging into your Facebook account and yelling at your screen and wondering why no one is responding to you. Really, Mom, this technology thing is going well.”
However, I did manage to lend her two books and then her Nook magically downloaded some free “classics” for her to enjoy.
“I HAVE SEVEN BOOKS NOW!” she exclaimed and clapped her hands together.
I then took her Nook Color, shut it off, put it on the table and said, “Good. Now show me you can get to them.”
“Kelly, that’s not nice,” she said as she started playing with the volume controls again.
If you’d like to read Part One, I’d highly encourage it.