I think I was 30 before I knew what a download was.

July 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm 1 comment

The 4-going-on-12-year-old that lives in my house, Alissa, is a computer pro.  (Is there a latin term for this?  Technophile?  Screenophile?  Computophile?)  She comes by it genetically; her father is the original computer geek afficianado and I’m no slouch around a keyboard myself.

She likes to play games on my tablet and daddy’s EVO phone.  Recently she was impatiently waiting for Brad to load some games when she sighed heavily and said in her most I-can’t-believe-you’ve-made-me-wait-this-long voice: “Is it DONE rebooting yet?  Daddy, what did you download?”

Rebooting?  Download?  Alissa used these words in their correct context, in a sentence as easily as she asks for snacks or declares Dora the best. show. ever.  This is the same kid that announces “I have to go poopy!” in a volume loud enough for me to hear downstairs.  When did she start channeling Mark Zuckerberg?

Alissa can navigate the web and open up games on my tablet.  She uses a mouse like a whiz.  Her generation is never going to know life without a computer in the house.   They will never know life before texting and Facebooking.  It boggles my mind to think about the technology that will be available by the time my kids go to college.  Will they even have traditional college courses anymore?  Will education be delivered solely online?   My bet is that kids today won’t even need keyboard skills; all their devices will be touchscreen.

It bothers me, a bit.  Not because it’s a different sort of childhood than I had.  There’s the argument out there that computers make kids less mobile, more stationary.  Lord knows I spent a good chunk of my childhood stationary, nose in a book.  I balanced it with sports and outside activities, though, and I think that’s still prevalent among our children.

No, what I worry about is the amount of openness our kids are comfortable with now.  The internet lures us into revealing too much about our every fleeting thought and feeling.  I see too many young-ish people whose sense of discretion has been obliterated by the siren call of the status update.  We are never truly alone anymore; someone is always available to talk to with just a touch of our thumbs as we text.

I also worry that our kids will lose some of their ability to communicate in person, preferring to email or IM or text.  I can understand how that could happen. I, for one, hate the telephone.  If I could communicate strictly by electronic means, I would be happy as a clam.  Yet I understand that some situations require the nuancing that can only come from hearing the other person’s voice.

Obviously, parents are facing new issues that family computers bring up.  How much computer time should a kid have?  How much are they monitored?  What age is a good age for a cell phone?  I won’t even begin to condescend to offer advice or even an opinion on this topic, as my children are still four and two and we haven’t crossed that bridge yet.

I will give this piece of advice, though.  Mommas, don’t let your children grow up to play Angry Birds.  They will find themselves to be 35 and still trying to pass level 7 of Seasons.  Not that I speak from experience or anything.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

Liar, Liar, Pants Aren’t Getting Any Smaller. Things My Daughter Says

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kara  |  July 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    There was a story on the news yesterday about a school administrator wanting to quit teaching cursive to student because of the texting/facebook era. The school board turned her down, thank goodness! I didn’t own a cell phone until I was 18 (I’m 25 now) and if I ever thought about texting, it was coming out of my own pocket! My parents refused to get a texting plan. We didn’t have internet in the house until I was 14 and that’s only because my brother paid for it. It wasn’t monitored except by him, but I knew better than to do anything wrong because he’s a tattletale. 🙂

    Reply

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