Maria Actis was 85 years old when she became an Internet sensation after her grandson recorded her struggling to use a Google Home Mini device.
In the clip, the Italian grandmother appeared sitting at a table surrounded by her family members who probably expected Maria’s reaction. The smart speaker was in front of her, and a member of her family explained to the grandmother what to do.
When Maria heard the instructions, she started saying “hey goo goo” and “ok goo goo,” trying to make the device work. At some point, she asked what would be the weather like the following day, and when the gadget replied, she stood up and held her husband’s arm.
Surprised, Maria said, “I’m scared! I’m scared! It’s a mystery!” Later, her grandchildren told her to ask the device to play an Italian song for her, but Maria couldn’t make it work, so she just started singing the song herself.
When the video ended, Maria kept struggling to make the gadget work while her family couldn’t stop laughing. Soon after the clip hit the internet, it became viral, what prompted Steve Harvey’s team to invite her to the show not once but twice.
During her first appearance, Maria told Steve that the device was stupid because it couldn’t understand her instructions. She revealed that one of her grandchildren from Japan called her the day after the video hit the internet to tell her they saw her on TV.
Finally, Maria revealed that everything improved when she changed the language from English to Italian. The second time Maria was in Steve’s show was in March 2018 during a special episode held in Orlando.
In that interview, Maria said that children recognized her after her first appearance in the show and they kept asking her for a photo.
Later, Steve started showing videos from one of her holidays with her husband on the big screen behind them, and Maria felt ashamed, so she kept covering her face.
Maria is not the only grandmother who became viral after a mistake with a technological device. Wanda Dench, who sends out annual invitations to members of her family during Thanksgiving, sent one to Jamal Hinton, a 17-year-old stranger, instead of to her 24-year-old grandson.
Even though Jamal and Wanda later noticed that it was a case of miscommunication, the grandmother still invited the teen over. That “accident” took place in 2016, but Jamal has been attending Wanda’s Thanksgiving celebration each year.
The two became friends, and they keep in touch with one another when it's not Thanksgiving. They share conversations every week, just to check on how both of them are doing, proving that a mistake ended up in a great friendship.