Monday, September 13, 2010
Why do they always make the buttons so small on these things?
About ten years ago I did something very stupid. I bought my mother a cell phone for Mothers Day. It seemed like such a great idea at the time. She was elderly, she doesn't drive and she has a dicky ticker. I thought it would be reassuring to have some way of contacting me if she ever needed transport so I trained her up on how to make a phone call and how to answer the thing when it rang. She was delighted to have such a flash gift and felt very sophisticated to be one of the only single ladies in the Over 60s Club with her own mobile phone. The novelty wore off within about two hours. It seems that ever since, I've had phone calls - from my mother's land line - asking me how to do this that and the other on her phone. No amount of explaining that all she needed to do was to be able to send and receive calls was enough to convince her that this phone wasn't a gift from the anti-christ himself. I'm afraid there have been numerous complaints about the buttons being too small for her fingers and the whole thing being too difficult to text. Ummm...Mum....NO TEXTING! All I want you to do is send and receive calls! The phone has come in useful when my mum has found herself unexpectedly admitted to hospital and for that reason alone I've never regretted giving it to her. That is until she starts trying to understand texting again. That's when the phone becomes evil and she doesn't want anything to do with it - yet she can't seem to resist fiddling about with it and growing even more frustrated.
Mum's about to turn 84 - although she doesn't look a day over 64 - and I've replaced the phone over the years, keeping the original phone number to avoid confusion. The latest model was one I saw advertised on telly specifically with the elderly in mind. It has bigger buttons, a larger screen and no bells and whistles to befuddle anyone. It hasn't changed anything though.
Today's phone call was the best yet. My 14 year old son, M, is trying to earn his place into best grandson of all time and visits his nana once a week to help her do the puzzles in her magazines. He rang from her place this afternoon: "When did you first buy Nana the cell phone? Was it before or after 2004? Coz Nana has just found that she sent a text from her phone at 12:15 am in 2004 and she doesn't remember doing it. Do you know what it's about?" I didn't even ask, "Oh and Mum? Nana wants to know if you've found issue 33 of that magazine she gave you about 2 months ago yet." Umm...no...no I haven't
When her 24 inch packed a sad a couple of months ago, we gave Mum a flash new telly with HDMI Freeview as an early birthday present. Now I have to think of what to give her for her actual birthday in a couple of weeks' time. I know one thing. It won't be an upgrade for her mobile phone!
Mothers. Gotta love 'em!