Else where

Else where

Else where

Cyber grannies

I was talking to my grandson the other night; we were working together on a project. He was 100 km away in another town and so we weren’t actually talking, we were Facebooking. Facebooking is what people do these days instead of letter writing or emailing or talking on the phone. My grand-kids all are online; cyberspace is the place where I hang out with them.

The boy has long held a dream of being a professional skateboarder and as his doting grandparent; it’s my duty to encourage dreams. The project was to make a short movie that showed his skateboarding to a couple of potential sponsors.

Between us and Facebook and a few file sharing sites we were able to put the project together within a few hours. He sent me the film he wanted to include, the music he wanted as background and then put his trust in my artistic direction. When I couldn’t load what I thought was the finished project into YouTube, I searched that site and came up with an instructional movie explaining how to convert iMovie into a more generic viewer. That I knew to go there was thanks to my grandson, he had told me that he often referred to instructional videos on YouTube so I followed his lead.

Afterwards, with the video uploaded to YouTube, shared on Facebook and stored on a flashdrive, I sat back and marvelled that the world had changed so much in such a short time. Not bad for an old granny, I told myself chuckling like an old crone into my keyboard.

Because I grew up in the last century, I have a romantic vision of myself as a nice little grey-haired old granny who lives in a cottage that is always ripe with the smell of cakes baking, but that was my grandma. She grew flowers, baked delicious puddings and granted me the absolute freedom to run barefooted through her village and spend long days fishing or idling in a tree with a book in hand.

The world was a slower place back then. We walked everywhere or caught the boat across the harbour. We ate ice cream on Sunday and had time to watch the sunset every night. Grandma would sit every Sunday at her kitchen table to write letters to her daughters, who lived less than 100 km away.

The daughters all dutifully wrote back with news of their growing families. I grew up watching this great flow of letters swirl around our family, like a magic circle. Later I wrote to my Grandma and still write now to my aunt, the last remaining link in that chain of time.

As a grandmother in the modern day of emails and Facebook, texts and twittering what my grandchildren seem to appreciate about me is that I can keep up with their rapidly changing world. I smile when they congratulate me on my typing speed or when I share the latest video gone viral. I also monitor their online conversations and stick my beak in when required.

As a traveller and a devoted grandma who often must content herself to adoring her grandchildren from afar, the internet has given me access into the world of their future and something quite remarkable that we can share together. Long live change, it keeps us Grannies on our toes!