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Modern Technology and Grandmas Texting!



By Alice Muschany


“It’s the things you learn after you know it all that count.”

— John Wooden


Our grown kids threw a party when my husband and I finally purchased cell phones.

After wearing myself out running to the front door every time I heard ding-dong, I changed my ring tone and moved on to texting. It sounded simple enough: Choose a contact. Type a short message. Press send.

For my first attempt, I laboriously tapped out a note to my daughter: we gonna eat six o’clock. see you then. love mom. Morse code would’ve been quicker.

She replied, k

Why didn’t I think of that?

The next time she texted, I smirked as I typed my one-letter reply.

Her reply message popped up: u typed l. u mean k?

My first text to my teenage grandson was short and sweet: hi

Within seconds, he replied, whoa! gmas texting?

The next day he saw me painfully pecking out a message and grabbed the phone from my hand. Turning it sideways, he used both thumbs. I had to admit, that speeded things up, but typing on the itty-bitty keyboard continued to result in garbled messages that soon became a source of family entertainment.

Because my oldest daughter couldn’t take off work for my granddaughter’s spelling bee, I offered to attend in her place. First up, Mattie bravely stepped to the microphone. After she correctly spelled the word f-e-a-r, I texted my daughter with what amounted to an Elmer Fudd update: fwst wurd be fear but manne fasn’t a fit afwaid

My second attempt wasn’t much better: mattwe did gweat wound too

u suck at testing

Excuse me. Did she mean ‘texting?’

After leaving for college, my oldest granddaughter posted on Facebook that she needed a hug. Trying to be hip, I sent back a symbol I thought was a hug.

My phone rang. “Way to go, Mom. You just mooned your granddaughter.”

Oh, dear me. Texting wasn’t the only thing I needed to brush up on.

A friend vacationing in Milano attached a scenic photo of the majestic mountains. I texted back: looks like mice weather

She replied: sunny but no mice

Early one morning, rather than call my daughter and wake up her entire household, I texted: u ip?

I chuckled as I read her instant reply: i ip!

A co-worker sent me an abbreviated message that could only be described as encrypted. Taking a stab, I managed to decode her daughter Julia’s name but nothing else. I replied, WWJD? In my book, that stood for “What was Julia doing?”

My phone rang. Dumbfounded, she asked, “What do you mean, what would Jesus do?”

Last week my son-in-law introduced me to phone apps and insisted Google was a must. The best part was I could just speak into my phone rather than peck out the information on my microscopic keyboard. Turns out for a “smart” phone, mine wasn’t too bright. Whenever I asked a question, even though I spoke s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly, Mr. Google had difficulty understanding me.

One morning I pulled up at Quest Laboratory only to find it closed. Disappointed at first, I remembered I could just ask my phone what time the office opened.

First attempt: “Quest Diagnostic.” Response: “Crest Toothpaste. Resourcesfor dental and oral health care.”

Second attempt: “Quest Laboratory.” Response: “Learn more about Crest 3D Whitening.”

Third attempt: “Quest labs.” Response: “Learn how you can save with Crest coupons.”

Forget modern technology! It was easier just to drive home and come back later.

The other day, my 10-year-old grandson called while I was at the store to ask if he could come over. I told him I’d pick him up on my way home. Before leaving the parking lot, I texted: I’m coming to get you 

who’s this? came the reply.

Gma, I answered.

As I pulled onto the street, I heard a beep but ignored it.

My grandson and his mom were outside when I pulled up. He was glad but surprised to see me. I told them what I’d texted and he’d responded, but it was news to them. When I showed her the screen on my smart phone, she pointed out that the auto-correct had changed Gma to Gmail.

Later, while my grandson and I were downstairs, my husband, Roland, answered my cell to an irate man accusing him of threatening his girlfriend. Roland denied it, but the guy didn’t believe him, and when the conversation got heated, Roland hung up.

He came downstairs, handed me the phone, and asked, “Now, what have you done?”

The number matched the one under my grandson’s name. But then he told me his number had changed. Oh no! I hit redial and quickly explained what had happened to the irate boyfriend, apologizing profusely. He said his girlfriend was scared to death, and he was on his way over to her house. After I confessed to my texting deficiencies, the guy admitted it was kind of funny, but I still felt badly. And I learned a valuable lesson: Double-check your text message before pressing Send.

Now that iPads have arrived on the scene with larger keys, maybe there’s hope for someone like me. For now, my tething wemains a ferm of faniky emtertwainment.





Alice Muschany lives in Wentzville, Missouri. Recently retired, she enjoys writing and photography, and her grandchildren make wonderful (but unwilling) subjects.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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