Double-click to talk – not writer’s average meeting place

Double-click to talk – not writer's average meeting place
Awhile ago when my daughter asked me to hang out with her, I didn't hesitate.

I wonder if it's the same with other parents of adult children. Now that mine are grown with many miles separating us, impromptu invitations like this one are not always possible.

Her request was not to meet halfway between her house in Southern Nebraska and mine in Southeast South Dakota. It wasn't to join her in Omaha or to touch base in Nebraska City.


My daughter's request was to get together online in some place called Yahoo! Messenger.

Even though at first it felt kind of strange, of course, I wanted to meet her, albeit in a virtual way. Here's how it all started…

From: mydaughter@her-email.com

To: pauladamon@iw.net

Subject: Join your daughter on Yahoo! Messenger!

Date: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008 6:44 p.m.

Vanessa wants to talk with you using Yahoo! Messenger :-) If you want to talk while you are online, you can sign up for this. Accept the invitation by clicking this link: http://invite.msg.yahoo.com/invite.

Well, that sounded easy enough. So, I logged on and followed all the steps as best I could. I clicked here and there. A big bright yellow happy face even appeared on my desktop. I thought I had successfully set up my account. Then my daughter e-mailed me…..

From: mydaughter@her-email.com

To: pauladamon@iw.net

Sent: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 8:29 p.m.

Subject: Messenger

When you click on the messenger icon (on your desktop or the smiley face in the left hand corner of your screen, the messenger window opens up).

You type the ID you signed up with and your password. Then you are logged on. Then, you double click my name if it is filled with color, then I am on and we can talk.

You should try it…I am logged on now. :) Good Luck

I wrote back …

From: pauladamon@iw.net

To: mydaughter@her-email.com

Sent: Friday, Jan. 25, 2008 8:49 p.m.

Subject: Re: Messenger

I am somewhat "Yahoo Messenger-delayed" and need a demo:-)

Her reply…

From: mydaughter@her-email.com

To: pauladamon@iw.net

Sent: Friday, Jan. 25, 2008 8:52 p.m.

Subject: Re: Messenger

You have to log on to messenger when you are on the computer. If I am on, you will see my avatar lit up. You can double click on it to talk to me. Otherwise, if I am off, it will be gray. Go for it, Mom. It will be fun. We can play games and draw pictures together.

My reply…

From: pauladamon@iw.net

To: mydaughter@her-email.com

Sent: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008 8:56 a.m.

Subject: Re: Messenger

Very funny. You make it sound so simple.

Needless to say, I have not yet successfully met my daughter online. But I'm still trying…

A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place national and state awards in The National Federation of Press Women competitions. Damon's writing took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 Competition. For more information, e-mail pauladamon@iw.net.

© 2008 Paula Damon

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