Give your Mom the Gift of Technology This Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is around the corner and if you’re not sure what to get your mom or grandma then I have a solutions for you. If your mom or grandmother or mother-in-all has not been keeping in touch with technology and social media, now would probably be a good time to get her on board.

Now before I continue I have to add that my mother is on Facebook, uses Whatsapp, Viber and Skype and uses an android phone and manages just fine with most of her computing needs including working with excel sheets, accounting on quickbooks etc…so this won’t apply to her as much and mom’s in similar situations. However, my grandmother is someone who might find some of this very useful, she just doesn’t know it yet.

So, why is this better than just buying her something that she likes? Learning new things can be difficult for some people after a certain age, so for someone who has not been exposed to a lot of the new technology that is currently out there, suddenly tutoring them on doing something complex that involves more than 3 to 5 steps can be overwhelming. I’m merely stating some ideas which you can use, but then you will have to judge depending on the level of exposure to technology that your mother or grandmother has.

But if you expose them to just the right amount of technology the rewards can be very fulfilling; connecting to family members and long lost friends via social media, getting entertained or educated with Youtube and mobile games, staying in touch with family and friends with messaging apps and more.

Social Media

images (2)If your mom/grandma is not already on Facebook, my number one recommendation is to get her signed up this Mother’s day. We take it for granted but Facebook really is an amazing tool. She can connect with friends and family, search for long lost friends and maybe even make new ones. Viewing photos and update on what her family is doing, reading and watching news articles and videos and even sharing her own photos can be a surprisingly pleasant experience and one that she will be very thankful for. If she is already on Facebook you can give her some tips for making her experience even better. Maybe she has just “friended”  people and has no pages “liked”. You can show her that liking a page gives her updates from that page in her news feed to enrich her experience on Facebook.

Instagram_Logo_02pinerestIf your mom is the creative type and/or is into photography , you can introduce her to Instagram or Pinterest. If you or your mom is bold enough, you can get her introduced to twitter. Just make sure that you explain to her that anything and everything she posts on twitter will be visible to everyone. I heard of a story where a person was using twitter to keep personal notes. They thought that because they don’t follow anyone and no one follows them, their tweets will remain private – yeah… don’t let your mom be that person.

Gadgets

To make full use of social media perhaps the best way to get your mom started would be to get her a smart phone or a tablet if she does not already have one. As to which smart phone or tablet you should buy for her is totally up to you. If you have an android phone, you will probably lean towards Android and if you have an iPhone then you will lean towards an iPhone. Same goes for tablets – you cannot go wrong either way.

You can also get her a Fitness Tracker if you want to encourage your mom to stay fit. Check out my review of the Misfit Flash Fitness Tracker.

If you do end up getting her a phone or tablet be sure to give her a quick tutorial, get her started with some social media accounts and show her how to work her way around the camera.

Messengers

whatsappWhatsapp is my number one messenger app recommendation – it’s very simple to use, is reliable and almost everyone is on it. She can even form groups with family, friends or the neighbourhood book club. You can share pictures of her grandkids or just use it as simple a way to say a quick hi. There are other messenger apps like Viber and Facebook Messenger which you can introduce to her.

Video Chat

skype-logoFor video chat, I would recommend Skype and Hangouts. If she is on IOS then Facetime will work best for her.

Youtube

YouTube-logo-full_colorYoutube has to be a category on its own because that is how big of an impact it makes on our daily life. Youtube is the best entertainment education tool out there and of course I do not need to reiterate it here because you already know, but if your mom/grandma/mother-in-law isn’t already using Youtube, you really need to get her on it ASAP. From entertainment which includes comedy, films, funny videos, to news and educations, to DIY projects – just image the world of possibilities that she can have at her finger tips. If nothing at all she could be watching cats playing the piano.

Other General Knowledge

  • Google Search – Here are some Google Search tips that you can teach your mom. I bet you even you didn’t know about some of them.  
  • Flipboard  – Even if your mom is not into reading for pleasure, I bet she might just get into it because this app is just so beautifully designed that she would just want to use it only to admire it.
  • #Hastag – teach her how hastags work. 
  • Shortcuts – You will be surprised how many people don’t know about Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Y and so on for Windows and Cmd instead of Ctrl for MacOSX. Here are keyboard shortcuts for Windows and keyboard shortcuts for Mac OSX.

So these are my recommendations, enjoy your weekend and A very Happy Mother’s day to all moms.