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This morning, my mother posted a link to a really cool National Geographic picture of a snake on Facebook. I commented on it and my inclusion of a :D confused her:

I thought my explanation on Facebook was pretty clear and easy to comprehend. Later in the day, she called me at work and we were chit-chatting about this and that. She expressed continued confusion as to what :D was so I talked her through it. Once she understood that it was a big smiley face, she expressed interest in how to make the heart symbol too:

Me: It’s the less than symbol and the number three.
Mom: The less than symbol? Which way does the less than point? Left or right.
Me: It points left. The pointy part always points at the smaller number. When it’s less than, the smaller number comes first — three is less than five — so the point points left.
Mom: (drawling out) Less .. than …. symbol. Number … three.
Me: What are you doing? Are you writing that down?!
Mom: Yes!

After moving on to other topics, I figured she was good to go on the <3 front. Oh but I was wrong. She called back a little while later, expressing frustration that she was unable to make <3 happen:

Mom: I have to press down the shift key to get the less than symbol but the number three doesn’t need the shift key!
Me: What? Wait, are you trying to press the less than symbol and the number three all at once?
Mom: Yeah.
Me: (sighs) No, you type the less than symbol and the number three separately. Make the less than symbol first and then hit the number three. No space between them.
Mom: Oh, okay! (tries it) It’s still not coming up as a heart.
Me: You have to post the comment. Then the site changes it into a heart for you. You know, maybe you should stay away from emotions. (impersonating her before she can say it) ‘What are emoticons?’
Mom: (laughing) Yeah, what are emoticons?
Me: The colon-capital-d smiley face, the heart, stuff like that are emoticons. Maybe you should stick with your ‘L-O-L’s instead [Note: my mom is very proud that she knows some internet shorthand]
Mom: (laughing) L-O-L.
Me: O-M-G.
Mom: ‘Oh my god’.
Me: O-M-F-G!
Mom: No. Just O-M-G.

So off she goes to the internet and I am happy to report, success was achieved: