Thursday, July 29, 2010

Technology today...


Quite awhile ago, I touched on something that I dubbed "Generation Text"...or...at least...I thought I dubbed it.

Until an author of a book called "Generation Text" left me a comment telling me my thoughts were "romantic" at best. Bugger.

What's wrong with romance, anyway?

Anywho...the other day, over coffee with a fabulous friend (hi Stac!!), we were discussing technology and our children...namely, cell phones/texting with our children. Er...well, we weren't discussing it with our children...but more, how it pertains to our children.

She is a homeschooling mama (encouraging me to give it a try, myself...) with a brood of children who are just as fabulous as she. Her oldest and my oldest are fairly close in age, so we share struggles, in someways. The most recent, was the lack of friends being invited over...our kids not picking up the phone to call friends to come over, and vice versa.

Once upon a time, Mr. W was talking with his sister about how our Pal doesn't really get invited to many friend's homes to "hang out". I was more worried about it than the Mr., fearing our eldest child didn't have friends.

At conferences for school, his teachers always reassured us that he was a friendly kid that got along great with everyone...kids and teachers, they'd report that yes, indeed, he had lot's of friends at school. I'd leave, scratching my head...wondering what was up with the "un-invitedness".

After the Mr. talked with his sister, he told me that she said the Pal was "out of the loop, because he didn't have a cell phone, and didn't text". (For the record, I've always been fairly anti-cell phone for kids...) When I heard that, my first reaction was "Ah...phooey! That's just a bunch of bull!" I didn't believe it for a second.

And I went back to worrying about what could be wrong with my son, to be left out of things so often.

Well...(and this is what I shared with Stac...) about a month or so ago, my boy bought himself an iPod touch and a couple of iTunes certificates. He bought the "Text for Free" app for his iPod, so that when he is in a WiFi signal, he can text...just as if he had a cell phone.

Suddenly...our boy is doing stuff. Being invited to friends' homes and golfing and basketball. It's unreal, guys!

I didn't want to believe it...I really didn't...but, my SIL was totally right! (Not that I didn't want to believe HER, just that cell phones/texting played such a big role with today's youth and socialization [or lack thereof]...)

Stac and I realized...that kids these days don't pick up phones to make phone calls. Which makes me a little fearful for the future communication skills of our youth.

Whatever it is...I guess I do need to learn to roll with the punches. If life gives me lemons and I'm supposed to make lemonade with it...then perhaps...

If life gives me technology, I should learn to embrace it (or at least live with it?!). Right?


17 comments:

  1. I love texting. It's great. I dispise talking on the phone and will do so only when texting isn't an option (work, doctors, ect).

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  2. I text all the time. I despise talking on the phone and do so only when text or email isn't an option. However, I was surprised at how big an impact this is on kids. My husband and I have had several conversations about when to get our daughter a cell phone and we were thinking at the middle school transition. Now, I'm second guessing that decision. While I don't want her starting elementary school with a cell phone, (Doesn't that sound ridiculous?) I really don't want her missing out on socialization opportunities because she doesn't have one. There is a lot of food for thought here...

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  3. It's true~! Even adults don't bother picking up the phone anymore. My excuse is that I don't have enough quiet in the background with 5 boys running around...but truthfully, texts are short, sweet, and to the point...in 160 characters or less I know what you're doing this weekend and don't have to go thru the formalities of smalltalk (that I can't hear anyway) first.

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  4. As a public school teacher, I can confirm what your sister-in-law said. Kids who don't text are left out, because it's the way kids communicate these days. Just like, when we were teenagers, if you weren't allowed to be on the phone, you missed out on a lot of what was going on, because that was what teenagers did...laid on the bed, phone cord twined around our legs, and talked for hours. Information was passed through social groups from phone to phone, and once conference calling was invented...watch out! This year, we're allowing kids to bring their cells to school, and are actually encouraging it, so we can teach them to use cell phones responsibly and how to use them as educational tools. It's a big step, but we're trying to hit them where they live. In schools that have done this, they've found kids are more engaged and get into less trouble than in schools who ban.

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  5. I think its a sad world when a child has to be in the texting world to get included. Man what happened to the days of getting caught passing a note in class. lol

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  6. i agree that technology has really taken over....but I have to say...that it concerns me and I dont think it is all good. I personally will not be getting my 12 or 8 year old girls cell phones anytime soon. I feel like the world has absolutely no social skills anymore. Social skills are so important when it comes to getting a job and dealing with the public ( although all that might be done by electronics soon too..lol ).

    I admit...I am a textaholic...I love it....because like someone before me commented...I dont always have the time or energy ( or peace ) for the small talk...but unlike kids now a days...I developed my social skills before texting came around...

    I feel like many kids now are not getting that...have no idea how to actually engage appropriately in a conversation and I don't know...I think that is kind of sad.

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  7. I hate texting and email! I love the phone, but I am a talker, what can I say?

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  8. I can't even tell you how much I hate what technology is doing to our kids. It's scary to imagine the future with the way things are going. I am not a fan.

    My son, nine years old, has a cell phone that he used strictly for calling me when he arrived at school and when he left school. He walked, and I am a worrier, so there ya go. But he didn't know his own number, couldn't give it to friends, and had no idea how to text. I'm hoping I can keep it that way for a long, long time.

    But you're right - tech stuff is interfering with kids' REAL social lives. My kids aren't allowed to play video games very often, so nobody wants to come play at our house. Sad that if they can't play video games, they don't want to be friends.

    I have to stop now. I could go on all day.

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  9. Yup...texting & technology are a part of the world! I appreciate Amy's comment though, in recognizing the need to teach kids to be responsible with technology and to understand how it can be useful, as well as entertaining. I fought my son having a cell phone, on many levels, but it has worked out really well!

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  10. My son did not get a cell phone until recently...he was 13 almost 14. I was dead set against it. "Where will you be that you can't get in touch with me?" was my biggest argument. But then I realized that I could get him a cell phone, do away with our home phone and still spend about the same...so I made the jump. I wouldn't say that he's more or less social than he was before...but I found the biggest positive to be that the last time he went to his Dad's house, he came home a little less moody and a lot happier. I think it was because at his Dad's he can't just pick up the phone to call me...but with his own phone, he can text me AND his friends...and he doesn't feel so left out while he's at his dad's (who lives about an hour away). But, it is sad that we have a generation that are learning to communicate in such an impersonal way.

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  11. I text, but I would still rather talk on the phone for something important,or if there's a lot to say.

    My son just got his first phone, and he is a texting fool!

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  12. It's always nice to hear about a homeschool mom! I was home schooled and went to an amazing charter once I was in high school and had so many opportunities open to me. It was the best thing my parents did for me :)

    But anyway, I don't have children so I can't touch on that subject. But I despise cell phones and texting! From the people that don't pay attention when they are driving because their nose is buried in a text, to the people that have to have the latest cell phone to brag about it. I hate it!

    I do have a cell phone that I use for my use only, I rarely text and rarely use it and I wish everyone else did the same. I'm so tired of being out with our married friends and they are non-stop checking their phones like crack heads. Status isn't what new cell phone you have... if anything it's having your own home and a land line connected to it. lol. I wonder if it's coincidence that all our friends that have fancy cell phones don't even have their own place???

    I guess I find it pathetic. But I don't have a child, so I'm just touching on the adult, cell phone crazed people. LOL

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  13. Well now, isn't that something to think about. My husband and I ask our daughter all the time why she never calls anyone, or hangs out with her friends. She is almost 13and has no cell phone. It never occurred to me that this could be why. How sad and unfortunate if this is, in fact, the reason. She won't be getting a phone until she has a job and can buy one herself, so I guess she will just have to get used to being an outcast. Not to be mean to her, but if I don't have a phone, there is no way I'm buying her one. Her brothers also want one, as well as my youngest daughter, who will be 5 next week!! Not happening. Sorry.

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  14. I believe it...even for myself - I'd much rather text with someone especially about little stuff like "what time are we meeting?" - it's just easier & quicker. I'm one of those people who doesn't even check my voice mail - if i see a missed call i'll (or text) you back...

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  15. Wow, i wouldn't have had any idea. I mean, I know technology is a big thing in our kids' lives but I wouldn't have had any idea that it would have affected a kid getting invited places. Weird.

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  16. My Hubby and I were just talking about our kids' lack of social interaction. I mean all summer long they haven't called or seen hardly any of their friends. I certainly hate that a cell phone or other similarly expensive gadget is the answer! They'll have to be social pariahs a little while longer. -EW

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  17. I hate texting, all the time it needs to search for the letters, I prefer to call or email.
    But kids, all another story, my 12 y-o daughter has a cell phone with a small keyboard.

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I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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