Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tech Savvy

Recently while caring for my grandbaby Ellie, I noticed she was having a lot of fun playing with a Fisher Price phone pull toy.  She knew to put her finger in the dial holes and spin it around.  After "dialing" she would tuck the earpiece into the crook of her neck, simulating listening.

It was the cutest thing.  She really appeared to be listening to an imagined conversation.

But actually she was most interested in pulling the string toward her as she walked backwards away from it.  She was mesmerized watching the eyes bob up and down as it clickity clacked towards her.

The irony of it all is that she has absolutely no understanding that her toy is a replica of old technology.  I'm sure she has never seen an old dial phone, and probably neither has her 14 year old brother, Jarrod.

Yet, they both are very familiar with cell phones.  Ellie has two or three toy cell phones with which she often "calls" her people, and Jarrod has his own cell phone too.  Whether or not we like it, cell phones are part of life nowadays, and technology continues to advance, evidenced by the recent release of the iphone 5.

All of this business about our dependence on cell phones has been rolling about in my brain lately, following a recent comment by my father.  We were all traveling together in the car to a meeting, and he saw my brother checking something on his phone and stated, "You are all too reliant on those."

There really was not much reaction to his comment, because, well, there's no point in arguing the issue. My father doesn't feel the need to use a cell phone, and my brother cannot imagine not having one.  It's the difference in generations.

For my father's generation, the debate was simply where to install the one or two landlines in the house, in order to maximize convenience of answering the ringing phone.  For my generation, the decision to be made is whether to even have a landline any more.  Why have a home phone when you carry your cell phone with you at all times anyway?

Even though I am of the cell phone generation, I do not consider myself to be nearly as tech savvy as my children are.  I dread making each cell phone upgrade, because I will have to learn all the processes of using a new phone.

My son, on the other hand, has already ordered his iphone 5, has purchased a rubber sleeve for it, and is eagerly awaiting its arrival.  He welcomes technological advances, whereas I am an old fart who somewhat digs my heels in and resists it.

My parents simply don't get it at all.  They do have a cell phone, because somebody was able to convince them that they might be glad they have it in an emergency.  However, they only power it up on the rare occasion when they want to make a call.  They do not understand that others may want to call them.

I have come to the conclusion that they simply do not want to be bothered with keeping it charged and on at all times.  They also don't "get it" that cell phone calling and texting is how the modern world stays in touch and socializes.  Of course, they still write snail mail too.  I am not finding fault with them, just pointing out the differences between the generations.

I was sitting on a toilet the other day in a public restroom, and across from me on the wall was a massive poster with a large variety of cell phone abbreviations.

Studying this chart, I was appalled at how un-savvy I really am.  There were only a few of the abbreviations that I actually recognized.

Test yourself:  how many of them do you know or use?

Well here's how I really feel about whether I am tech savvy or not:  IDC.

And to all my family, friends, and blogger friends:  LYL, whether or not you love your cell phone.

More to come L8R......

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