June 16, 2016
I love my mom. She is the sweetest, most positive person I know. Now that I’m an adult — at least according to “society” — we have a great relationship.
And because of Snapchat, I feel closer to my mom then ever before.
You’d never be able to tell us apart on the phone, but my mom and I are very different — on almost every level, from how we deal with our feelings to how we digest information. Safe to say this caused a bit of tension between the years of 2004-2008, aka “the dark years.”
Besides my own teenage urge to get into mischief, the tension was and always will be communication. Every day was the same; Mom: “What did you do at school today, honey?” Me: “Stuff.” Classic. I could only reach my mom via a landline until I was 16 years old. Even when she got a cell phone, it was never on. I received my first text from her when I was a senior in high school, and she couldn’t see what I was up to on Facebook the way parents can today. I got away with plenty — but at the expense of not knowing my mom, and her not knowing me.
Things got better when I jetted thousands of miles away. Email was our savior. No room for words you couldn’t take back, no misreading someone’s expression and tone. It was so refreshing and… nice.
Most recently, Snapchat has brought our communication, and my appreciation for my mom, to a new level. This made me think how technology, the way I grew up and what some would call the “Millennial” way of communication has strengthened our relationship.
Millennials grew up in a constant state of technological innovation. New devices, gadgets and communication tools came out every year: the birth of the Internet, email, AIM, chat rooms, the cell phone, the first iPod, texting with T9Word, the iPod that was a bit smaller, texting with a T-Mobile keyboard phone, MySpace, laptop computers, another smaller iPod, Facebook, etc. While many Boomers and Xers complain we lack “basic life skills,” I will be the first to roll my eyes and say we didn’t even have a chance to possess those same life skills if we tried. (We had too many iPods.) As a result, we’re adaptable, plugged-in, collaborative and forward-thinking. The list goes on, so get a Twitter account while the world’s still moving.
My mom is on the cusp of her generation – not really a Boomer, not really a Gen-Xer. But she loves to learn. After spending an afternoon at home, I showed my mom Snaps of my friends — the girls she watched grow up right beside me. She set up her Snapchat account that very evening and hasn’t looked back. She’s a pro with the zoom, adding stickers and text. It truly astonished me when I realized how much joy I experience whenever there’s a Snap from my mother:
I get to see my dog again every day.
I know she understands my Bieber fever. (Tonka sightings!)
She thinks about me even while at the grocery store.
I never miss an update on “bun-bun”: the name my mom has given to every rabbit my dog has either chased, wounded or killed in the yard.
And I can even show her how great I am at adulting.
I embrace my Millennial characterization even more today, and I’m sure my mom does too.