Two tablets. Photo taken with the PaperArtist app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Mother’s Day is coming at us fast. And that means your kids will be buying or making presents for you! That’s wonderful. We all love to get handmade cards or flowers stolen from our own garden. But according to an annual TechBargains.com survey, 73% of mothers would prefer an iPad to flowers. I am squarely in that 73%. But more interesting (since it’s pretty common knowledge that I’m a geek) is that my mother is, too. And she is …well…quite a bit older than I am and not a geek at all. (Telling you her age would only get me into trouble.)
I recently gave her a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 ($179) and it brought with it a surprising side-benefit: It brought us a smidgen closer together. She is having a blast discovering things she likes (Audible, Skype, sending photos to Facebook, NextIssue for magazines, Netflix.com, financial apps, etc.), some of which I installed before giving her the tablet. She likes to go home and explore where no one is watching. And when she’s ready, she comes back for more advice on apps and resources she might like.
Before the tablet, she would come by on a Sunday "for a chat." It was good to see her but uncomfortable because I didn't really have time to sit around talking about nothing. Now she brings her tablet, pulls me onto the couch and shares things she has discovered (she is not too old for LOL cat videos) and I share things I like. And it turns out, I have plenty of time to enjoy a good laugh with her. She recently pulled my daughter into one of these laugh fests and the three of us crammed together on the couch to look at silly videos on Grandma’s tablet. My daughter won – hands-down – when it came to knowing where all the wet-your-pants-funny videos were. So we had a pretty good, multi-generational time gathered around a touchscreen.
My point? Maybe asking the kids to help you – even if only with advice or moral support -- you get into a tablet or a smart phone wouldn't be a totally selfish act this Mother’s Day. In fact, maybe all they really need is to know you would like it – and want their advice on what to get. (Though you might want to go armed with some of my advice, too. Teenagers tend to want what other teenagers want. So unless you are a teenager….) Who knows? The tech might turn out to be a good way for you all to connect. (And will certainly make it easier for you to supervise them.)
And don’t underestimate your own mother. Maybe what she really wants is to not be treated like a lost relic of an earlier age.
I wouldn't take that “iPad” ($499) response in that survey too literally, though. I’m sure you -- or your Mom -- would be thrilled to get the Galaxy Tab I gave my mother or -- even better -- a Garnet Red Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 ($219), an engraved iPad Mini ($329), or the ($199) Kobo Arc, an Android Tablet and eReader with an engaging Pinterest-like interface.
You might also like many of the tech goodies I covered (with my husband Dan) in the Dads and Grads Gift Guide in the June issue of Family Circle. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a great tool to help busy moms -- or grandparents who can't be bothered to own a computer -- stay connected and organized. The screen is big (like a pocket tablet) and the built-in pen allows for some old-school-but-digital note taking (with pen and screen) and photo marking.
Happy Mother's Day!