Please meet Grandma Roza – a typical Jewish grandma with a new hearing aid and a very distinct opinion. She lives in a Jewish aged care facility and always has something valuable to add to any conversation. Today she discusses the world of social media with her personal carer Simon.
Grandma Roza: Shimonke*, enough is enough! Put down your phone already! Is it covered with honey? No? So why are you glued to it, may I ask? For G-d’s sake, call her already, don’t be shy.
Simon: Nah, Grandma Roza, you got it all wrong. I am just socialising on facebook, reading news and watching movies… These days, a mobile phone is a universe of its own.
Grandma Roza (putting her glasses on): Let me have a look… What is this shmeysbook all about? How can you possibly socialise using your phone without making a call? Is it telepathy or what?
Simon: I’ll explain. Just imagine a family reunion. Now you can share your thoughts and photos with each other and with other friends too. How awesome is that!
Grandma Roza (after a pause): Not at all. If all my friends and relatives get together, we’ll end up in a warzone!
Simon: In what ways?
Grandma Roza: In every way you can think of! For example, when I sit next to my cousin Fanya, she always says that her gefilte fish* tastes better than mine. If she does that once more, I’ll smack her with my blood pressure monitor! Meanwhile, my pimplish neigbour Rita will start flirting with my husband Mottl…
And how about our gantze mishpuche* from Ukraine, Israel and USA coming to visit? Just imagine how much food I’ll have to make! Oy veizmir!* No! I prefer that we all stay home, occasionally sending each other a yomtov* postcard.
Simon: Fine! But when you write on facebook, the entire world gets to know you.
Grandma Roza: Shimonke, do you really believe that people need to know what Grandma Roza thinks about?
Simon: Why not? For instance, what’s on your mind this very moment?
Grandma Roza (after a pause): Now I would like to go for a nap, watch my favourite soap opera and grab a pontchke*. See, nothing smart enters my kop*!
Simon: You’d be amazed. Most people go even further: they take a photo of this pontchke and put it on facebook before having their first bite!
Grandma Roza: Hmmm… Now I understand what shmeysbook is all about. When I was a little girl, I used to go outside with a piece of cake in my hand, so that other kids could be jealous, too!
Simon: Well, I wouldn’t say that everyone is jealous. Some friends honestly want to know what you are doing… and how your day is.
Grandma Roza: Shimonke, don’t be naive! Real friends can pick up the phone and call… Or rock up at your doors saying: “Stop watching movies on your phone already! Let’s go to cinema instead!” And that’s it! The rest of this modern technology is not for me. I am too old and sick to understand it…
Simon: Grandma Roza, pleeeaaase! You are exaggerating. You are the youngest lady in our nursing home.
Grandma Roza: Don’t teach grandma how to flirt. I am a poser with experience.
* Shimonke – Yiddish pronunciation on name Simon.
* Gefilte fish – Jewish dish made from a poached mixture of ground boned fish.
* Gantze mishpuche* – the entire family (Yiddish)
* Oy Veizmir!* – Oh my! (Yiddish)
* Pontchke – donut (Yiddish)
* Kop – head (Yiddish)