Monday, February 4, 2013


My older daughter and her best friend were going to an ice skating birthday party and I was the designated driver to the rink. We were ready to leave and my daughter texts her friend to let her know we will pick her up in a few minutes. But there was no imminent response. So what were we to do? Head to her house though there was no response from her or wait until she responds.

We ultimately decided to go to her house and we are waiting outside on the driveway but even now there is no response. My daughter sends another text and I just innocently say to her “why not just call?” The response comes instantly and puts me in my place: “calling is sooooo yesterday.” Yikes, what a comment and what an effort to put me in my ancient place.

Two minutes later, just as I was getting ready to call the parents, the response came in the form of my daughter’s friend leaving her house and heading to my car. We were on our way, though I wasn’t ready to forget about the “yesterday” comment.

I am significantly older than my kids but I’m not a “yesterday” kind of person. I was an earlier convert to email, to online shopping, to texting, to ebooks, and even to writing a blog. I also have a strong attraction to new technologies even though my wife feels it is more an attraction to gimmicks. But there is no convincing your kids and I remember feeling the same way toward my parents.

Technology has made an enormous difference in the education we deliver and in the life we lead. The information I can access and the transactions I can complete enhance my sophistication and improve the quality of my life. I’m not interested in going back and living in a world of less robust technology or less life saving health care. But I’m also old enough to realize that with technology you may pay a price; inter-personal skills now seem less sophisticated; social situations somewhat more stained; the pace of activities more speeded up. Having lived in yesterday’s world, I recognize its benefits and its limitations. Kids seem only to see the limitations of what existed before. What can we do to make sure education makes clear not only what has been gained over time, but also what has been lost. And also makes clear, that when choices need to be made, the newest technology is not necessarily always the best technology.

No comments:

Post a Comment