Who would have imagined a ‘tweet’ to be anything more than bird’s communicating just a few years back? Although she’s been reluctant to jump on board, Katie’s now riding the technology wave and wondering what our kids will think of all this ‘advanced technology’!
I’m a reluctant lover of technology. And being married to Inspector Gadget, I’m often reminded that I’m a little old-fashioned. With each new tech-fad that becomes popular, I’m hesitant to join the bandwagon. On the contrary, my husband innately knew about all the possible uses for the iPad the day that it came out! While I’m still holding on to some “old-fashioned” mantras, I’m continually amazed at where technology has us today, and I’m learning to appreciate it more.
I first learned about the Internet in middle school. Our little introductory project was to have email pen-pals from another state. I was paired with a boy named Vincent who lived in Florida. Although I didn’t have a clue as to how the World Wide Web worked, I was secretly interested seeing what this “friendship” with Vincent would become! I only got one or two brief replies though. Now it’s remarkable to realize how astonishingly quickly the Internet became something that we couldn’t live without!
In high school, my parents gave me a cell phone when I began driving, for safety purposes. While other kids were probably ecstatic to get their own first phone, I didn’t really care. I’m not a big talker anyway, especially not on the phone. Years later, I received my first text message, “I love you” while at a college basketball game. However, I didn’t know what a text message was, and I frantically looked around wondering who was stalking me and how they made a message pop up on my phone! It was from my husband; we were engaged at the time.
In college, I relied on AIM to meet friends in the cafeteria at the same time. Facebook came out during that time, back when only college students were allowed to subscribe. But I held off until a couple years into my marriage when my husband encouraged me to try it; I was curious anyway. And last year, he urged me to start twittering, even though I didn’t get the point. I admit now, it’s fun.
Once again, it was my tech-savvy husband who insisted that I get an iPhone when it was time for me to upgrade. I insisted back, “No, no, no, no… I don’t need all those fancy technological thingies that I don’t even understand!” It only took a couple weeks for me to become infatuated with it. With all the different apps available, a smart phone can become personalized to exactly what an individual person needs from it! Amazing!
It’s ridiculous to look back at the exponential rate that technology has taken off with more examples than I can write. The Internet became publicly available in the early 90’s. The use of cell phones became common in the late 90’s. Remember Zach Morris, being ahead of the times, lugging around his bulky phone that was the size of a suitcase? Suave, I know! Well, imagine what our computers and phones will look like to kids in 20 years!
While the amount of information and connections that are available at our finger-tips is mind-boggling and amazing, there are two things that I refuse to let technology lure me away from.
- In person, face-to-face time with real, live people. There is nothing more important than relationships. And I hope that all this social networking will spur on more opportunities to meet people and spend time in person, rather than draw us into seclusion.
- Books. Real books. Call me old-fashioned if you must, but there is something timeless and wonderful about flipping through with my fingers and grasping the physically bound pages.
So what will communication and research look like when our children are adults? What about when we have grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren? I was actually interested in hearing the stories from my great-grandmother about how she kept the house warm, cooked food, and ironed clothes. I can’t even imagine where it could go from here!
As technology zooms forward, what benefits do you see for your children? What will you encourage your children to hold on to despite more tech-savvy options?