Family

Kids and Technology

Ahh, wow. It’s been a week, or pretty darn close to it, since I’ve posted last. Sorry, dudes. I’ve got loads of excuses, but they pretty much amount to this: Life’s busy, man.

So! *rubs hands together* It’s Monday. Time for a kid story! Hey, did you know? In the alternate universe where I actually blog on schedule, it goes like this: Monday–kids/family posts, Wednesday–reading/writing/book world posts, Friday–eh, whatever spews out (that’s always interesting, huh?). That’s the goal anyway. Now you know.

My kids, like kids tend to do, are getting bigger by the day (hour, minute, second…I swear my daughter got taller overnight). As their little minds   develop and they make their observations about the world they live in, I’m starting to realize it’s not the world I used to live in. I don’t know what it is, but in my mind, I’m raising my kids in the 90s. But then my son, who is 4, will say something that reminds me of the decade we actually live in. Things that weren’t possible when I was a child are commonplace to him now. I can only imagine how his grandparents feel! For instance.

Touchscreen Technology

My husband and I own Android phones. And one time we borrowed my friend’s iPad for a few weeks while our computer was out of commission (nice friend, right? She’s super awesome). But for the most part, we’re not in touch with our touchscreen devices. In fact, my phone typically sits in my purse, in my car, most of the day. Much to the chagrin of anyone who wants to get a hold of me. Anyway, despite our lack of ultramodern tablets in our house, my son is familiar with these devices and how to use them. Mostly because touch technology is so darn user-friendly. Kids intuitively touch the things they want to see. No moving around a cursor, no mouse, no clicking. Just touch. So as I was engrossed in my revision cave over the weekend (where I was glued to this computer, revising my novel), my son came up and touched the screen. He was completely surprised nothing happened. He understands the keyboard and mouse affect what happens onscreen, but it wasn’t until that moment I realized he also thought the screen would too.

Online Shopping

"Do you think they have that toy on eBay?" (image by Luis Argerich on Flickr)

It’s a whole new frontier out there, folks. I remember my mom dreading taking my siblings and me shopping with her. We’d beg and plead and whine for everything from sugar cereal to cheap toys. And she’d have to say no. And we’d throw fits. And get in trouble for said fits. Having been through a few rounds of this as a parent, I understand the frustration. Especially with today’s apparent standard that kids must be completely silent and perfectly well-behaved if I dare to bring them in public (but that is a soap box for another time!).

Well, gone are the days where the solution to this annoyance is leaving the kids at home. Because now if my son wants something, he knows to say, “Just order it online.”

DVR/Tivo/Netflix/Whatever

Try explaining the concept of live TV to a kid who’s used to watching his favorite shows from a recording. “Fast forward the commercial, Mommy.” Yeah, it doesn’t work like that buddy.

Video Chatting

As the world gets smaller (or humans spread out, whichever way you want to think of it), families live farther apart. Like us. Neither my husband nor I live in the states where we grew up. Now with the ability to video chat, our kids can see their grandparents on the TV screen while we talk. We didn’t see my husband’s family for the holidays this year (taking turns, another side effect of long-distance family), so we had a virtual gift opening experience. We turned on the webcam, got the grandparents onscreen, and opened our gifts. That’s straight out of Back to the Future, right? What’s next? Robot maids, like in the Jetsons? Wait a minute….

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

I think my Neato needs a name. Any suggestions?

If I wasn’t married, I’d marry my Neato. You know, hypothetically, in the world where robots and humans can marry. If only it could do laundry, it’d be the perfect man!

My son is fascinated by it. When we make a mess on the floor–which is all the time–he says, “Go push the button on that robot, Mommy.” It doesn’t work so well for just spot messes, I still have to use a broom, but it’s funny that’s his idea of how we clean up.

Our past experience affects our perception of what’s happening in the present. When I stop to see things from my kids’ point of view, what’s going on right now is how things have always been. Now we know how all those “When I was your age…” stories get started.

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11 thoughts on “Kids and Technology

  1. My kids figured out how to do things on my iPod Touch before I did. I’ll admit that it bothered me a little, especially because I consider myself “with it”, at least to some extent.

    They also despise commercials, and for the longest time would freak out if they came on.

  2. Ha! I don’t have anything touch screen except e-readers. Though the wee beasties use touch screens at school. Your oldest is still younger than my youngest so I’m even more raising my kids like it’s still the 90’s LOL

      • I have two e-readers. The Nook which has the touch screen thingy at the bottom. Is that old-school? And I have the Kindle which is completely touch screen. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if my computer was touch screen, LOL

      • You know what? You’re right! The “old school” Nook DOES have a touch screen. I forgot about that, LOL! I was definitely thinking about readers like the Nook Color or the Kindle Fire when I mentioned not having a touch screen.

  3. I constantly explain my growing up in the dark ages experience to my kids — you know, where records played on turntables, TV screens were less than 20 inches, and the mall wasn’t open on Sunday. Fascinating to hear how your kids are experiencing life. It’s even different from what my sons faced 10 years ago!

  4. Have you watched Arrested Development? There’s an episode where Lucille gets a roomba and her 30 year old son feeds it skittles by putting them on the ground because he thinks it’s hungry.

  5. Okay, I’m going to take a deep breath and try to absorb the fact that your phone is out of your immediate reach, more often than not. I’m deciding whether I envy or pity you…..OK, I’m over it.

    I hardly even remember my mom TAKING us shopping. I just know that when the Sears and JC Penney “wish books” arrived in November, she had to put up with an awful lot of requests/demands.

    My boys STILL (at the ripe age of 9) can’t get over my inability to “fast forward” live television.

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