Tag Archives: IPhone

Learning a New Language Can Save Your Brain……or Your Relationships

We had to do it.  After more than 5 years of a flip phone, which we lovingly called an “Amish Phone,” in my family, we had to get my 89-year-old mom a smartphone.

We considered a Jitterbug, because of the big numbers, and other capabilities that would be what she really wanted in a phone, but after interviewing some of her friends who had the Jitterbug, the smartphone seemed better for mom.

My mom texts. She checks her email. She wants to get all those cool photos my brother sends from all over the world. And she does have an iPad, so I thought there would be a bit of intuitiveness in her use of a smartphone. I was so very, very wrong.

First, and this is my fault as well as my mom’s, we didn’t get her an iPhone. We got her a Samsung. So any comparison to the iPad was already (in her mind) off the table. I have an iPhone and an iPad and at first, I didn’t find the Samsung so outrageously different. And yet, different it is.

We pushed buttons, arrows, question marks, houses, envelopes, and do-hickeys of every kind. We renamed them, the house, the three buttons, the mail, the three lines like sheet music. We renamed everything to improve our communication, so that I wasn’t yelling, “NO….NOT the up and down dots, the sideways dots.

We spent a girls’ weekend putting in her contacts (not in her eyes, in her phone) by hand from her old phone, because it had no bluetooth capability to transfer the information. Who knew mom and I would have to learn a new language in our 60’s and 80’s just to have a nice girls’ weekend?

My sisters took over on that weekend for a few hours to add games like Spider Solitaire, Free Cell and who knows what else, because….yeah……my mom plays games on the computer and iPad and wanted them on her phone as well. I DON’T EVEN PLAY THOSE GAMES.

It’s been about 2 weeks now.

Mom and I went to lunch yesterday. She showed me all the cool things her phone can do. She kept getting the camera to show up unexpectedly, so I asked the waitress if she had an android, and if so what makes the camera appear? She said if you press the ‘when-in-doubt’  twice, that’s what makes it happen. (She didn’t really say that, she said the ‘home’ button, but in CATHAMOM, our new language, it’s the big black button in the middle called the “when-in-doubt-press this button to get back to the beginning”).

This means “where are my contacts?”

Even learning how much pressure in one’s fingers to use to tap, slide, press or push is a lesson in patience, frustration and Olympic-like celebration of success when it works!

My mom texted me this morning and said, “Leaving now, see you at home.”

“Wow!” I thought, pretty darn impressive.

Translated from: “I’ll be home.”

I went to her house. She wasn’t there. She was at breakfast with her friends. Apparently, ‘at home’ means breakfast with my friends,’ in CATHAMOM.

“You Just have to Laugh…….”

©2018 Cathy Sikorski

Did We Actually Teach, Teach Them Well?

I have to say, we Baby Boomers can be a self-satisfied lot. There are all kinds of posts out there about how we did just fine with spankings, wooden toys that didn’t do anything, no car seats or even seat belts for that matter. Bad TV, bad diets, flammable pajamas, DDT, baby oil instead of sunscreen, none of that had a deleterious effect on us, right? We’re just fine, you young whippersnappers.

And if you Millennials had had it a bit harder like we did, walking uphill in the snow to school both ways, you wouldn’t be so lazy, entitled and clueless.

But take a second look, my friends. Our blessed Millennials may be gurus you will want to be looking to in the future. Here are my top six reasons why:

  1. Millennials don’t work at a job for 30 years that they hate. They don’t even do it for 20 years, 10 years, or even 5 years. They know that’s stupid. If you have to work for that many years, you might as well try and be happy about going to work.

    They know what to do with this!
  2. They are saving more money than we ever did.   According to The Christian Science Monitor, they are better at saving and wiser about it. Money magazine agrees. You think you’re so smart? You will be happy when your Millennials can throw a few bucks to your home-health aide to keep you out of a nursing home because you didn’t save any money.  They will be too, because they don’t want to be your home-health aide.
  3. Our kids work pretty darn hard, harder than we did. According to the Boston Globe, Millennials are workaholics, probably because they are in jobs that they like. Since they are not willing to stay in a job that makes them miserable, they work harder when they find jobs they like. And they keep looking. So maybe that search for happiness isn’t so selfish after all.

    They really like babies!
  4. Millennials actually value their work-life balance, according to Forbes. Even though they may be workaholics on one hand, on the other hand, they are known for taking pay cuts to have a work life balance. When they have families they want to be with them. This is a big plus, especially since they are saving more than any other generation before them.
  5. They do and know how to embrace technologyAdweek tells us that they are ever-willing to learn new things. As technology is speeding us up every day, we better have someone to help us with it. I don’t know about you, but I try and find a 12-year-old every time a new app comes out or I can’t figure out how to use my iPhone.
  6. They’re pretty freakin’ smart. Even as we have bogged them down with unimaginable student debt, they listened to us about education. They are the most educated generation ever.  I like being surrounded by smart young people. Although just this week my daughter chastised me for ‘mansplaining’ something to her. I corrected her immediately: “I’m not mansplaing, I’m MOMSPLAINING.” That’s always acceptable.

So stop bad-mouthing Millennials. First of all, you raised them. Aren’t you proud of anything they’re doing? Secondly, look closer, they actually have their shit together. In many ways, much more than Baby Boomers. Finally, respect, people. Remember when you were 25 and your parents wondered if you had listened to anything they said? Millennials listened alright, and they took what they needed and left out the bad advice.

To Millennials:  We’re still your parents, don’t get all up in our grills, either.

“You Just have to Laugh……”

©2017 CathySikorski


Stay tuned for an important message…..

My friend. Lisa sent me a Facebook message this morning before 8:00 A.M. I happened to be up and reading the newspaper (yes, I still have an actual newspaper delivered). It was a bit odd, both for the time and the message as it was one of those ridiculous cat videos. Neither Lisa nor I have a cat, nor do we share any cat videos, as a rule.

But okay.

I responded with something like: “Hahah. Oh that’s cute.”

To which she responded: “Fuck. that was a mistake and I sent it to someone so wrong. HELP!”

I said, helpfully: “Haha. You and technology. You do have a brain injury, you know.”

She messaged back: ” I meant to send something else, this video is STUPID. Help me delete it.”

I gave her instructions on Messenger how to delete the message that went like this:

“In the messenger box at the top is a circle that looks like a sunburst and it says “options”

and then if you click on it it says delete conversation.”


To which Lisa replied:

“What’s the Messenger Box?”


Now, I’m thinking: “Oh, boy, we are in trouble” Since we are typing in the Messenger Box.

So I reply:

“When your are on your iPad in Facebook and you send a message to someone it comes up in a box. The message box to send a message is next to the word HOME after the silhouettes of the people…its like a bubble of conversation.”

To which Lisa replies by calling me on my cell phone so we can have an actual conversation…much like an actual newspaper.

“Help me get rid of this stupid video!”

“Okay,” I say, “get off your android phone and go to your iPad, it will be easier there, because I have an iPhone and the screen isn’t the same.”

After a minute or two as two middle-aged incompetent Facebook users try to communicate about things that look like bubbles and sunbursts and silhouettes of people and gear-thingies and where to click on them and see what it says, I finally get off my computer and revert to my iPad so we can be looking at the same screen.

We somehow manage to both get into the Messenger app and find a screen that had options on my computer but doesn’t come up with options when you click it on the iPad. Ugh. How can this be? Why oh why do they keep changing the options?!?!  And then I see and owl icon and it says “help”. So I type in:

How do I delete a message?

Up comes an FAQ:

 How do I delete a message?

Put your cursor on the message and hold it down and the message will be deleted.

All of that took 45 minutes and a lot of swearing. I never did get to finish “Dear Abby” in my

actual newspaper.

“You Just Have to Laugh…..”

©Cathy Sikorski 2015

Here’s the “stupid” video for your viewing pleasure: