This poem has been written keeping older people in mind. Here, the poem is written by an anonymous writer. Generally older people have trouble with the advent of technology and sometimes it might prove to be difficult for them to use most of the gadgets. Computers were invented around the \(1930s\). It only had the features to perform basic mathematical functions. Slowly technology started booming and several other essential features were brought in. Social media was introduced for people from all over the world to connect. But it soon turned into an addiction to the younger generation.
The poet was talking to his grandmother may be via skype or hangout etc. wherein he could see her and talk to her. She did not know how to operate a computer. Generally grandparents have the urge to connect with their grandchildren. In the earlier days, people used to visit them for vacations and it would make them happy. But after the advent of applications like skype and zoom, people connect only virtually. The grandmother in the poem wants to desperately connect with the outer world. But what started off as a means to connect, slowly turns into an addiction.
Grandma using computer
She learned to use the application off late after the whole world became digitalized slowly. She pressed ‘control’ and ‘enter’, and the poet could not see her on the computer anymore. It destroyed her or did not show her up ultimately. The poet makes the pun intended as it means that maybe she was caught by some virus (it can be both computer virus or virus which every human can get caught with like flu), or perhaps she is eaten by some worm. The mere thought of the grandmother getting fully drawn into technology makes the poet squirm.
Person being swallowed by computer
The poet's grandmother gets engrossed in the computer that she gets influenced by the virus. The poet has brilliantly made a word play with the words virus and worm, as it can refer to both the literal and connoted meaning. A person who is sick can be affected by a virus or a worm. Similarly a computer virus can also attack a person in such a way that a person gets addicted to it. The poet's grandmother is missing since the virus has gobbled her. It is quite uncertain as to what exactly is the reason for her getting vanished.
The poet searches for the grandmother anxiously in all kinds of places. Generally when a person is missing, we tend to look for them in physical spaces such as friend's house or in the neighborhood. But in this case, the poet searches for the missing grandmother in the recycle bin of the computer folders. This is a sarcastic way of mentioning that the grandmother is completely in the control of the device and after a while has been deleted just like any other unnecessary files. This shows that anyone who gets into the control of technology and becomes a slave will be missing from human social interactions.
Different folders in the computer
The poet slowly searches all other files in the computer in the hopes of getting the grandmother. Rather than limiting the search to the offline folders and files, the poet even uses the internet as it can connect one across the globe. Being very desperate, the poet uses the search engine jeeves to find her. Google, Bing, are some of the predominant search engines. But the poet prefers Ask Jeeves, as it accepts plain English questions or phrases. The way internet is being referred to as a person who could be approached in times of need, shows the influence it has on us. Unfortunately, no matter what the poet tries, the grandmother is not to be found.
Ask Jeeves - Search Engine
The poet's grandmother who started using technology initially only for the sake of connecting with her long lost friends and family, slowly becomes obsessed with it, that she lets the device take control of her. The poet refers to this incident of her becoming fully captivated as being gobbled by the virus of the computer. The entire poem is also written in such a way that the diction being used is completely technology oriented. Human beings are referred as being searched for in recycle bins and folders.
Since the grandmother is missing and cannot be found by search engines or the internet, the poet wonders if she is inside anyone's inbox. This refers to the fact that she must be sending messages to people and lured into the world of connecting. The grandmother missing could mean that she is obsessively texting someone and has no time for the real world. The poet appeals to anyone whose inbox the grandmother is in, to send her back. But rather than saying it in simple terms, they are being asked to cut copy the grandmother and paste her into an e-mail to the poet. This shows that in today's world, even if one has to see their grandmother, it has to be with the help of these technological aids. This entire poem is just for fun, and he is playing on words, mostly for a comic reception.