The desktop computer is four years old. My laptop belongs to a time period pre-everything, any attempt at internet connection allows you to go off and cook a three course meal while you wait for it to load and it won’t let you type the letter “g”. This proves somewhat difficult given my email address includes the letter “g” and many sentences don’t make sense when you remove the “g”.
Up until quite recently the only “apple” in the house was of the fruit variety. So we have come late to the technically connected lifestyle.
Christmas 2010 the girls got I-pods, only four months ago we got an I-pad and in November I received an I-phone for my birthday.
Has this changed our life? Hell yeah. In a good way? Well the jury is still out on that decision.
While others are attempting to streamline or eliminate their amount of connectivity we are just jumping aboard. As usual, a little behind the ball.
I was beginning to feel we were starting to lag a little too far behind hence my decision to get us more up to speed. It was obvious the world was becoming geared toward the latest technology and it occurred to me the children might actually be at a disadvantage because we weren’t allowing them to participate.
During our homeless phase (when we were waiting for the house to be built and relying on the kindness of Aunt Dorothy for a roof over our heads) we had no internet connection. It quickly became apparent schools expected home internet connection and made no provision for families who weren’t on-line. When I tried to explain our circumstances I was informed the children would have to go to the library at lunchtime to do the on-line maths homework etc. Given Hippie Child was in her first year of high school I sort of felt it was more important she be out in the playground making friends rather than in the library doing homework – but that’s just me I guess.
Right now we are still in the honeymoon phase with some of the gadgets. Everyone loves the I-pad, the girls need to be surgically removed from the I-pods. Although the I-phone and I have gone straight to the wanting to kill each other relationship phase. Let’s just say be careful what you wish for – I so wanted one, all the cool blogging girls seemed to have one. There they were tweeting, emailing, posting as they go about their daily lives, oh look someone’s tweeted another Instagram picture. It was like a secret society and I wanted in.
Sadly, in usual Shambolic style it hasn’t been the greatest of love affairs Our phone carrier doesn’t allow coverage to 85% of our town (my statistic based on where I want to use it) – everybody else can use their phones. Just not me. Siri doesn’t believe I speak English, and seems to think Ronan Keating is the answer to the majority of questions I ask. My fingers are too large for the teeny, weeny type pad so my texts turn out to be largely a matter of guesswork for the receivers. Took me ages to get the voice mail sorted, in the meantime I almost missed out on drinks with friends. DRINKS people, I nearly missed DRINKS. I’m still getting used to the whole “touch me and I do something” world, I’ve looked up my contact list numerous times, only to find myself accidentally making phone calls. But hey it’s nice to catch up.
It will get better I know and I do like being able to check my emails and use the internet from my phone so I will persevere.
In regards to how all this connectivity has changed our lives, it certainly means we are more screen focused and we are going to have to enforce limits (mainly for me I think given my current obsession with blogging).
In terms of the children this is a world Princess Child loves. What that child can do on a computer, amazing. We all rely on her to help with our problems. She’s the only one who can remember all the passwords to get around child-safety locks – I know the irony isn’t lost on us either. In computer world she is confident and happy – I could see her ending up working in this field.
Hippie Child on the other hand, well she can turn the computer on, after that Lord only knows where she’ll end up. She blames her technical illiteracy on the fact that I didn’t encourage it when she was a toddler. Gee whiz sorry about all that finger painting, water fights, mud pies.
I’m undecided about what impact all this technology will have on this generation. I see pictures of two-year-olds with I-pads and I worry. Then again children do need to be part of their generation. When they are sitting at the dinner party when they are 30 and everybody is talking about “remember that Facebook thing – wasn’t that the quaintest form of communication ever”, it would be helpful if they were at least slightly familiar with Facebook so they can laugh along with the joke.
I think as parents we have to be on-line ourselves to understand the world they are inhabiting and there has to be lots of discussions about the good/the bad/the ugly of all the social media and the devices we use to connect.
Will that be enough? What do you think? Should we be switching off rather than on? Or is this just the beginning of an entirely new way of communicating, working, living, that our children need to be up-to-date with in order to survive?