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Yesterday I wrote about opening my mother up to the amazing world of emoticons. It was a bit of a struggle but eventually I was able to teach her the magic of less-than-three and how Facebook swaps it out for a ♥ [Note for those who don’t know: less-than-three — <3 — is internet shorthand for a heart]. Armed with this information, she tackled Facebook with a heart-shaped gleam in her eye. Every comment she made on people’s photos, videos and statuses, she wielded the less-than-three like an internet ninja. An internet ninja drunk on hearts.

I posted a picture of my new shoes; mom replied with ‘♥’. In reply to a reply on one of her own videos, she said ‘ lol,omg ♥’. Realization dawned: I had created a monster.

"Alive! It's ALIVE!"

So how do you stop a snowball that is rolling — out of control — down a mountain and is about to wipe out a small village full of innocents? You get your sister-in-law involved and the two of you throw confusing internet shorthand at the rampaging snowball until it is disoriented and confused:

I think, at last, my work here is done.

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