Thursday, May 26, 2011

The technology generation

We got our first home computer when I was eight, so I don't really remember much about life before computers.  I do remember how different they were to use back then (we're talking early 80s here).  Programs to run and commands to know and cartridges and disks to keep track of and use. I remember trying to hide some of our game cartridges, particularly the educational ones that my dad insisted we use and practice all the time.  The typing program was one I really disliked and hid on more than one occasion. Thankfully, I was not good at hiding it, since typing well is a life skill that I'm pretty glad to have now.

And I remember the early days of the internet. When I was a teenager, my mom went to grad school and got her masters in library science, so she was using early versions of the internet quite a bit.  I remember a school project for 11th grade English that involved needing to know exact song lyrics for some old songs, and how amazed we were that Mom could use these databases to find the information that we needed. I remember going to college and having my first email and being able to send messages to my friends! The magic of it all!

Now, just 16 years after I got my first email (this is still before internet was everything), my kids are living in an entirely different world.  Vivian isn't quite two yet and she can work my iPod. Ethan is severely motor delayed and still can't do many basic things, but he can use the Wii remote to work Netflix.  They don't know a world in which we talk to grandparents only on the phone (and only at off-peak hours... the expense!), because they see their grandparents online every week. And when we're out and about, we press a few buttons on Mommy's ipod and we video chat with Daddy, no matter where we are.

Earlier this week I bought the Kindle version of my kids' Bible, so that we'd have an easy way of taking it to California with us.  And I showed it to Ethan that night, to get him used to the idea.  He hates change, but about 1.2 seconds after he saw his Bible! on Mommy's iPod!, he was hooked.  And now the actual print version of the Bible is beloved no more. Yesterday my iPod needed recharging by bedtime, so I told him that Mommy's iPod was broken for a little bit and that we needed to read from the actual Bible. He picked up his Bible, threw it behind the couch and said "my Bible broken. Need iPod."

It's a whole different world, for sure.

And on another note, look at this cuteness. I love it when she agrees to pigtails!

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