Technology

I love all the new technology. Weeellll, not all of it. Okay, probably not most of it. I’m what you call a techno-idiot and I resist upgrading or downloading anything until the device has wires hanging or so many error messages that I can’t make it function.

But my children? Totally in love with anything gadget.

And I was going to say it is their generation, but that’s not the case. There are plenty of people my age who wouldn’t go anywhere without their Smartphone where they can tweet, email and update their facebook status from anywhere.

Ummm, what about interacting with the people standing right in front of you??!!

When my children were going through school we didn’t have the internet. No, it wasn’t 1970…it was within the last decade and I didn’t want to have to deal with policing them when I didn’t really know much about it myself. They had to do their research the old fashioned way … encyclopedias. *Gasp* Oh, the horror! There was no facebook and cyber-bullying wasn’t even a word.

Simpler times for sure.

Now, they’re as plugged in as their friends. (And mom is getting there.) But we’ve banned cellphones at the dinner table (because we get together so infrequently these days). But on our recent family vacation, every kid under the age of 25 had their phone in their hand nearly every minute of the day. I have no idea if they were texting or updating internet sites. The point is…they didn’t put them down.

And companies are making it even easier for them to stay connected. Cars and phones with facebook status update technology have made it so people (not just the twenty-somethings) don’t EVER have to unplug. Crazy. Where is the mystery of the morning-after phone call following an awesome first date? Where is the living in the here-and-now?

No one is going to stand up at a funeral extolling the number of friends on a Facebook page or how fast someone could text. I just worry that we’re going to get so caught up in the technology and forget that life is NOW and you need to enjoy the people you are WITH.

And yes, I completely see the irony of putting this whole diatribe on my blog … just go with it. 😉

Every once in awhile reality smucks me upside the head. You know those moments when something you’ve been doing every day strikes you as an OMG! moment. Okay, maybe it’s only me, but I’m going to chat about it anyway.

It happened innocently enough. Mr. Nina and I were looking at a house we’re thinking of buying and although two of our children are living on their own, their very interested in the houses we’re looking at. Soooo, Mr. Nina pulls out his iPhone (that came with his new job) and started clicking off pictures (which someone had just shown him how to do). Which is when Beautiful Girl called and he answered it. She wanted him to text the pictures, but he could only figure out how to email them. It was kind of amusing to listen to her try to give him directions on how to text them. Suffice it to say, he ended up emailing them, texting was just too far beyond him at that point. And since the whole touch-screen iPhone situation is beyond my little “regular” cellphone capabilities … I didn’t even try. But that wasn’t a big deal. Baby Girl had slowly walked me through the same instructions for my phone.

But it wasn’t until Mr. Nina pulled up the internet on his phone to look for a good restaurant nearby that I totally freaked. I mean, not like WOW! jumping up and down freaked, just a little, man-even-in-my-lifetime-things-have-changed-exponentially kind of freak. Because, in the grand scheme of things, I’m not that old and yet, technology has changed everything I do.

When my children were little my Nana began emailing. She was 70-something when her children bought her a computer. Mind you, she was born in 1911! She went to a one-room school house by horse and buggy. She saw the inventions of the television, telephone and automobiles. And here she was able to email her grandchildren rather than write a letter. Now, she could only reply to our emails. She had no idea how to type in a new address, but still … it was amazing for her to do that.

One of my first jobs was at a business that had a computer “system”. We each had a terminal at our desks, but it went to a huge computer in the back room. Each day I was responsible for putting on big tape reels and backing up the whole system. It took probably 30-40 minutes. And the internet definitely wasn’t something we surfed. I’m sure it was out there in cyberspace in its infant stages, but it wasn’t something even on the fringes of my world. Heck, Mr. Nina and I had a phone plan where we still paid a pretty penny for long distance calls. Overages on cellphone plans have nothing on my phone bill charges back then. LOL!

I’m such a horrible mother, I refused to have the internet in my house when my children were young. They still used our encyclopedias to do their research projects in elementary school. Try explaining to teachers that two college educated parents really didn’t have the internet and please stop assigning our children silly assignments that required they get on a computer. (Some homework situations just don’t change.)

I’ve been published less than four years. But even at that time my “electronic” books didn’t get any respect at my local writer’s meeting. They weren’t considered real. I’m not passing judgement, just stating the facts. But like everywhere else in publishing, electronic books are getting the same kudos as paperbacks. Why wouldn’t they?

NYT bestselling authors are releasing their out-of-print backlist themselves. With the amazing success of Amanda Hocking and J A Konrath how can anyone argue that technology has turned the publishing world on its ear! There is no doubt that more new things are coming and we all just need to hang on for the ride of a lifetime!

So yeah, that innocent phone call from my daughter just kind of made me stop and think about all that’s come and all the possibilities of the new inventions yet to be revealed. So does this age of technology sometimes blow your mind? Or am I just way out in left field. (Hey, don’t knock it, it’s quite peaceful out here. 😉 )

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