When I was a little kid, finding a gift to make mom happy for mother’s day was pretty simple. A hand-drawn picture, a cute art project, or even a perfect score on a spelling test – as long as it came from me, she smiled.

As I grew older, ever the problem-solver, I wanted to give her something that made her life better in some way. A gift card to the spa, an AOL subscription, a Roomba – when I saw her using the gifts, and getting something out of them, I smiled.

Now I have kids of my own, a little wiser, I knew that what she wanted most was time together. Pictures of the family, a dinner together, a morning out just the two of us.  Simple, sharing times, and we both smiled.

Nowadays, I strive for something to combine all three; a gift that is useful, personal, and involves spending time together. This year’s recommendation – getting your mother onto social media – does all three, aided by AVG Zen.

Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Bringing Mom to Social Media

Make even the most technology-shy mother a part of your online social life, and connect all year round. Is your mother one of the stubborn hold-outs who doesn’t use the computer you bought her, prefers phone calls to Skype, and can’t ever seem to get enough pictures (printed, of course) of the kids? Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls and get help her get social online in three easy steps.

Step 1) Pick the right device. If she already has a smartphone (and uses it), this might be the best place to start, but if she does not, think about what she would enjoy using and incorporate into her daily life. In general, a 3G tablet or a phablet is a good choice for an older user – the larger screen sizes make for more comfortable viewing / typing, while still being portable, easy to use, and not reliant on a home internet connection.

Step 2) Pick the right service. This is something best done in person with your mother.  Start by setting her up with an account on one or more of the services you use, and make sure that she can perform the basic tasks herself – reading posts, replying to messages, viewing pictures. Most of us will be on Facebook, but if your mother is put off by the complexity of the interface, try a simpler photoshare or chat service like What’sApp, Kakao, or Instagram.

Step 3) Practise with her, and make it fun! Once she is comfortable with her new device, and can perform the basic tasks with her new account, practice with her at home. Take a funny picture, and get her comment back – this will get her used to responding to notifications and sending messages. Get her to practise doing the same – you want her to be able to start a conversation as well as reply to one.

Once you have her set up, it is important to keep the momentum going by messaging her regularly, and responding quickly to her messages. The more family members you can get to engage with her on the service, the better your chance of success, so try to help her to expand her circle.

You will also want to make sure that the device stays running smoothly – expect that you will be the go-to person for computing questions and issues. You can help keep an eye on all your mom’s devices and ensure that they are protected, private and optimized with AVG Zen. AVG Zen is a simple way you for you to monitor the protection, performance and privacy of all the devices added to your network.

Hopefully these tips can help you get connected with your mother this Mother’s Day, and stay connected throughout the whole year. Happy Mother’s Day from AVG!