Thursday, December 13, 2012
I'm like the Mrs. Robinson of technology.
So the other day when MH thought the oven was a TV got me thinking about how different the world is for her than it is for me. The difference isn't as huge as it was between my grandparents--who grew up during the Depression and refused to talk about their feelings--and my parents--who did drugs and talked about their feelings too much. I think I'm more like Maude from Harold and Maude, an old person plugged into the zeitgeist of the young people. Or like a person who was an adult during the 1960s, but still dabbled in some of the counter culture. I'm like the Mrs. Robinson of technology.
But then again, maybe the difference is just as big, but not as noticeable. I mean, I use computers. I can do the internet. But my kid assumes that every flat, glass surface has internet capabilities. And you know what? At some point in her life, SHE'S GOING TO BE RIGHT! I'll be like, "I can't get this damn oven to work!" And she'll sigh and be like, "Mom, that's not an oven. It's a computer." (Except she won't say "computer." It'll be more futuristic than that. Like "smart screen" or "iBrain.")
I remember dial up internet. My dad's CAR PHONE. Heck, I remember having a TV with UHF knobs and a metal antennae. (It still played Webster fine, which was all that mattered in 1984.) I remember rotary phones.
Here's a story: one of my grad school professors was reading her granddaughter Goodnight Moon and they were playing that game where she asked where stuff was and the kid pointed to it. "Where's the bowl of mush? Where are the mittens?", etc. But then she asked, "Where's the phone?" And the kid was stumped. So the woman pointed it out. "That's not a phone," her granddaughter insisted. Because in her mind, a phone is a little square you use to play Angry Birds when you are waiting around for stuff.
The point is, however good I am at doing technology, at some point I'm going to be the old person who can't make the time stop flashing on the VCR. (See? Even that reference foreshadows my oldness.)
But seriously. I read things about cyber bullying and the shit teenagers are dealing with NOW, and it makes me sick. Here's hoping that when my girl is that age, there's some grunge rejection of social media and she'll want to be retro and listen to CDs and watch DVDs and suddenly, a certain person's analog understanding of technology will come in handy!