I recently attended a baby shower and found myself fascinated by some of the gifts – new baby products that did not exist when my almost thirteen year old twins were babies. I thought of my own mother, who passed away when my girls were not quite two, and how she would be astounded not only by the new baby gear that makes a mom’s life easier, but by the impact technology has on parenting today. If I could describe it to her, here’s what I’d say …
If you thought that the world had really changed between your childhood and mine, you would not believe your granddaughters’ world! I don’t think you could have imagined the products and the technology that have changed the way we parent.
The single greatest change has to be the smartphone. Remember how you’d give me change for the pay phone so I could call you from school to pick me up when after school activities were over? That’s SO a million years ago! Your granddaughters text me (they never actually talk on the phone). Of course we have an app that allows us to track where they are moment by moment (too bad for them).
You’ll be happy to know that they were almost the last two kids in their 6th grade class to get iPhones. Crazy, yes, I know! They have more research power at their fingertips than I had in an entire library. Their teachers post all their assignments on line. They take photos of the board in class instead of writing down their homework. They can Google any question, math problem, or random thought. Remember when you had to take me to the public library when we couldn’t find an answer in our World Book Encyclopedia? Your granddaughters cannot imagine that.
Remember when we got call waiting and thought it was amazing that we could receive another call while we were talking on the phone? Ha, so primitive! All four of us have our own phones. We haven’t had a “land line” in over four years.
We describe our phone as a texting camera. Your granddaughters take selfies (yes, that’s a thing) constantly. I try so hard to keep up with all their apps, but it’s a losing battle. Social media is a challenge to me but intuitive to them.
While I’m not as tech savvy as your granddaughters, I admit that I’ve become almost as dependent as they are on instant information. Remember when we used maps to find directions? Your granddaughters have never used a roadmap. We enter any address into Google Maps or GPS to find our way.
Your granddaughters watch YouTube for entertainment and enlightenment. YouTube amazes me — there is pretty much a video to show you how to do almost anything. I recently purchased a staple gun and could not figure out how to load the staples. I googled (yes, that’s a verb) and found a YouTube video showing me how.
I try to stay one step ahead of your granddaughters’ use of technology, but the truth is that I play catch up everyday. I can’t even imagine what the world will be like when they are parents!