My parents recently got I-Phones. My father and my stepmother own their own business, and they have always been heavily involved in the marketing and operations of their company. My father explained to me that it was less a matter of them needing the phones, but that the I-Phones were an important thing that they needed to learn how to use, and that it was time. It has taken a bit of adjustment on their part, I know. I have not taken the plunge yet, but simply having to adjust to using my Mac last year was quite an endeavor.
Rewind to about eighteen years ago…I was working for my parents back then, and we had just gotten company cell phones. I remember my stepmother and I trying to locate each other in a Seattle airport with the help of our phones and her saying to me, “Can you see me yet? Can you see me?” It was hilarious. The reason that I still have a “dumb phone” now is two-fold. For one, I can’t justify the cost of myself having wireless internet access in a phone, when I spend the majority of my life within fifteen feet of my computer. For another, I think that me not having a smartphone distances my children even further from having one. My nine year old snagged my phone and texted her friend in the privacy of her room the other day, without my permission. I was livid. I definitely want to keep my children away from smartphones for as long as I possibly can. I also have to admit that I don’t like doing what everyone else does…that may be another reason for the hold off.
So my parents are ahead of me. There is more than just the “dumb phone” issue as well. I have never had a digital music player. My husband had one and I was actually capable of using it, but I have never had my own. I still don’t entirely understand what the hash-tag thing is all about, I am secretly hoping that it is a fad and it will pass. I have no idea how to use Instagram. I also call my children for help when my Mac gets a Skype call randomly linked through from my husband’s I-phone. I have plans to start a podcast soon with my sister-in-law and my cousin, so I am shortly going to have to do a crash course in Skyping and recording and editing sound. I know that I can do it though; learning all of this stuff keeps me young. If I don’t keep up with all of it then I have no way to console myself when I catch myself dancing in the grocery store, and singing along to the super groovy elevator music…
I was laughing with my oldest foster son over Skype the other day because I was thrilled to speak with him, but totally intimidated by the technology that we were using. He admitted that he felt the same way. I couldn’t understand how that was possible, because young people know everything about technology right? He reminded me that his grandmother had custody of him by the time that he was twelve. He told me that he could fix my record player anytime, but knew next to zilch about computers. He helped to make me feel much younger that day. It isn’t fun to feel old; I like to at least have a vague sense of being in the loop. It is healthy for us to keep up with the times. I know that today technology is causing things to change faster than ever, but if we give up and let it all sail off without us, we get left behind. When people get left behind we become bitter old curmudgeons. It is the exact thing that causes old age. Don’t give up. We have the ability to stay young forever as long as we are willing to accept change and embrace new things. Youth is absolutely a state of mind.