My dad is an awesome guy. He is fun, interesting, and interested in everything--cooking, sports, cards, golf, reading, theater, and so much more. He loves surfing on his circa 1990 computer, which until this weekend, has been sort of a joke. "Dad--GET a new computer--what is the problem? Mom has a brand-new Mac--you NEED a new computer. This is ridiculous!" He usually had no answer other than a sigh and a distracted "Yes, ok"--which we both knew meant, "Go away and leave me alone." This is a man who has a conflicted relationship with technology. He has a brand-new car with all the most up-to-the-minute bells and whistles. He has, and knows how to use, at least 5 remotes which control his TV and various recorders and devices. He usually has his cell phone with him and always answers it when he does. Yet I sent him a text message several months ago, and I was the one who retrieved it for him TWO MONTHS later!! And then there is this boxy, white computer which he clings to. So I was very pleased to hear that one of my brothers was hooking up my mom's former Mac for him. "You're gonna love it Dad!" I told him. And then my inbox chimed. An email from my dad entitled: "I am now on iChat." "My name is xxxxxxxx. Please feel free to IM me at any moment. Pop" What is going on here? Who is this man and why is he sending me emails? So I IMed him. And he actually answered! And here's the crazy thing. My dad was iChatting. Not only that, he was using abbreviations like "u" instead of "you" and when I told him "gotta fly--bye" he responded "bibi." We've created a monster. My almost 80-year old dad is IMing and using IM lingo correctly. Next he'll be texting me from the golf course. Fill up some water bottles and head for the basement. Clearly, the world is ending soon.