You May Apply an Expensive, Fine-Line-Diminishing Moisturizer Both Morning and Night, but If You Use Email to Communicate with Your Friends and A Video of Your Birth Wasn’t Posted Online, You’re Not Fooling Anyone

18 Responses

  1. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    Yep, technology can’t change EVERYTHING. Though it does change a lot.
    We are so like-minded, Jocelyn, it’s mind-blowing.
    And I have developed a very strong prejudice against old people using technology–the forwards from my grandma and elderly aunts convinced me that email is a dangerous tool.
    Oddly, I have a 13 year old who believes everything he sees on the Internet, not wholly unlike those little old ladies who believe everything they read in a “newspaper” like The Enquirer. Guess we’re not necessarily smarter, just looking through different lenses.

  2. Lil says:

    Well there you go, Green Girl took the words right out of my fingertips.

  3. kmkat says:

    I had an over-65 friend who used to forward those emails to me. Once or twice I replied with a well-reasoned and -research response about why *those* people are nothing new and how the previous generations of them had NOT ruined the country and that we should all relax a bit and be more tolerant. She was gracious enough to reply that maybe I was right.

    Then she died.

    I used to have hopes that our world would be a better place as my and other, younger generations came to dominate it. But I am disheartened by the racism and arrogance and selfishness that still seems to be part of these generations’ human nature. Things are better than 1950 (and 1850, for that matter) but we still have a long way to go. ::sigh::

    Sometimes the good moment CAN happen through pixels, though. Example: when I saw then-16-yo Younger Son’s page on some pre-Facebook website ( maybe?). It was a profile photo of him laughing, and he had Photoshopped an on-off switch onto his cheek. Along the side of the photo he had typed in some facts about himself — he was a techie, not a writer; he liked black and white and hated navy blue; and he loved his parents. My heart melted.

  4. chlost says:

    I am one of those in the middle of the techie generation gap. My kids laugh at my lack of techie skills, but many of my peers are impressed that I have technical skills and knowledge. I find it odd that I am emailing a colleague in an office just on the other side of my office wall, as well as blogging with friends from around the world.
    Conflicted. I am conflicted by technology. I dig in my heels at times. No Kindle or Nook yet. But an Ipad does intrigue me. Just got a cell phone within the past 3 years, and love texting. But no smartphone.
    Love, love, love the mind picture of you two sitting on the side of the tub. Btw, the conditioner you use on your hair works extremely well instead of shaving cream, and is easier to use in the shower.

  5. I love the way you lead me on to try to figure out where you’re gonna drop me at the end of your stories and sometimes, I have to stop and shake my head a bit, wondering at the confusion in my mind that sometimes happens with these things. And then, when you reach the end of your words for the day, and I understand what you’ve been trying to say, I also realize what sage advice you give to young and old alike! So, did you come up with a timeline for Paco’s hair growth? Inquiring minds want to know these things and how you deduced the timeline too -just for future reference, ya know.
    Oh -and be sure to have a great 4th of July!

  6. ds says:

    I am not smart enough for my phone, but some of the best conversations I have had with my daughter were via text. She’s on FB, we are not, but my inlaws are. It’s a bit uncomfortable when others know what your (adult) child is doing before you do. Suppose that’s the price of not wanting to overexpose oneself (writes the blogger). Don’t you adore irony.
    Happy Fourth to you, Byron, your sensible Girl, currently hairless Paco, and all those googly eyes. Where would we be without googly eyes. That is the real question. ; )

  7. Deborah says:

    There is nothing more pointless than saying that I left a long comment, only to find when I clicked ‘post’ that the microwave had cut my internet connection. But there, I’ve said it, and now I’ll say it again.

    A fine piece, Jocelyn. The other night MFB and I and a few friends of our generation were talking about how, when the real oldsters die off, there will be no one left who does not know anything about computers. But although we are both more able technologically speaking than many of our peers, the day has already come when I feel out-done and behind the eight ball compared to the younger ones. And as we move on to take the place of the most senior generation, we’ll be viewed with the same slightly condescending eye and rueful shake of the head. As surrounded as you are by the young, you’ll keep up for a good while longer, better equipped than many to learn and adapt to new technology. And as long as you keep challenging yourself with courses that force you to stay one step ahead, you’ll put off dinosaur-hood for a long time.

    Your Girl seems so well-equipped for life. She didn’t get that way all by herself, so you should give yourself a few pats on the back for coming thus far, and frankly, I wouldn’t worry at all about those teenage years where she’s concerned. You’re also sensible enough to ignore the scary stories about adolescents slamming the door shut on communicating and all the rest of the riff-raff that passes for parenting advice.
    Sometimes I think that my daughter and I get along better in print than in person, which makes me a little sad, but I’m probably just iimagining it. On the positive side, thank god for email, FB and texting which keep us in touch with each other is silly and significant ways despite the gap of an ocean – soon to be two. She’s moving to Australia in a few weeks and without the internet, I think I’d find that much harder to face than I do.

    And for the record, your title is brilliant.

  8. I think those that refuse to get involved in the latest technology are cutting themselves off from wonderful moments with their children–said the woman happily planning a wedding with her daughter via FB chat and Pinterest.

  9. Choochoo says:

    I suck at taking photos. I’m always meaning to get better at it, but things and stuff get in the way.

  10. Pearl says:

    I have a relative who forwards all of her capitalized fears re: the Current Administration and our Path to Hell. It’s all I can do sometimes to recall that she makes a mean fried chicken and used to sneak me the beaters to lick…

    Still. With the photos. I miss having them to hold, to put in frames.


  11. Jan says:

    This is wonderful. We have the same people in my state too! What a lovely, interesting woman your daughter is! I agree — she didn’t get that way all by herself.

    (I think I still have scars up my shin from my first shaving experiences! You may not be old enough to have sliced away strips of skin with an old-fashioned safety razor. It meant weeks of band-aids and than scabs on your legs. Girls weren’t allowed to wear pants to school then either!)

  12. I am a hopeless hybrid. I’m baffled by much technology, cranky about how much I’m drawn to other technology, and text in complete, punctuated sentences on my new Mobile Cellular Telephone. I don’t know what it’s doing to the kids’ brains. Most of the ones I know are smarter than I am, but that’s only because I’m stupiding up.

  13. I’m reasonably computer savvy considering my advanced geriatric state, but even so it still sometimes amazes me how much kids live on-line. I remember my son telling me he was going to meet his new girlfriend that day at school – they’d started “dating” by text and he wasn’t entirely sure who she was! And yet, I also tease my ex about his texting difficulties and tell him we should have ordered him a Jitterbug.

    But you’re right that you can’t generalize completely – my kids play on-line games, FB, text and so on – but they also devote a lot of time to more active pursuits. In that way, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. As is clearly true in your kids’ cases, too.

  14. (I meant to add that my mother, in her 70’s, regularly complains to me about people who forward her right-wing emails, which she finds appalling.)

  15. Friko says:

    It’s all just as it is and no need to get excited over any of it. The people who say ‘I can’t be doing with modern technology’ are perhaps just a bit scared of it; or they have somebody in the house who will do it for them when they feel the need to send an email or pay a bill.

    It’s an absolutely integral part of everyday life, all of it. I’m old enough to smile when I see a family of four – visitors – sitting in my living room, all busy on their gadgets, whether iphone, ipad, ipod or laptop, instead of talking to us or each other. But they will eventually put them down and talk. Or watch TV instead. We can’t compete for long.

    We recently had a special wedding anniversary and I took a row of photograph albums off the shelf and we sat, for over an hour, glass of fizz in hand and album across both laps and marvelled at the places we’d been and things we’d done since the day we got married. One whole album was devoted to wedding photos – grown up ones, not a meringue in sight – and we cuddled up and felt glad all over again. The photos were beautifully arranged on stiff paper and turning each page brought a new delight. I’m not so sure that we would have felt the same had the photos been on my laptop or computer.

    I no longer have paper copies of new photos now; I’ve started to delete quite a few less good ones; I am sorely tempted to collect the best and have them printed. I might not get round to it, of course, because I am too busy keeping in touch with virtual friends and filling hours chatting via the internet, producing ‘filler’ posts for my blog and ‘visiting’ other blogs. There are times when the sheer ridiculous insanity of it rises to the forefront of my mind and I swear I’ll stop some time very soon. When the virtual world, not just the useful and convenient aspects of it, but the social side of it, becomes a bigger part of my life than the flesh and blood world, that’ll have to be the day I give up or give in.

  16. lime says:

    may i say (and forgive me for how i never use caps. i know it’s great laziness in typing.), i am so glad i am not the only person out there to send snopes links to the irritating forwarders of email flotsam. as i read i also had images of specific people corresponding to your examples of attitudes. here’s a mind-bender. can you believe i was greatly resistant to having a computer at all and the internet seemed completely ridiculous to me? uh yeah, i obviously got over that.

    i still agree whole-heartedly with the notion that the best experiences are unplugged. made me a bit misty for having younger girls in my house to read of you and your girl.

  17. pam says:

    “…and a video of your birth wasn’t posted online”..hahaha- apologies to those who relish their own and others birthing photos, but if anyone came within an inch of me with a camera in my 10 hour complicated labour I would have smacked them away with a few choice words.
    Have really enjoyed the comments here. I’m pretty hopeless with technology – my idea of hell is reading endless instruction manuals. Usually I stand like a wayward child at the computer as my husband says “are you watching what I’m doing here?”. I try so hard to be interested.

  18. Bone says:

    First off, what a well-crafted and thoughtful piece of writing.

    Now, on to the unfortunate stuff.

    My mom believes those forwards. *face palm*

    I’ve lost pictures as well as quite a few songs from computer crashes and such, so I tend to fall on the “I want a hard copy” side. I know, I know, back everything up, but the fact is, I might do it once, but then I forget or get lazy about it.

    I recorded episodes of CHiPs onto audio cassette. I mostly disdain Facebook. And as I tweeted recently, “Hath anyone ever considered what vile and terrible atrocities these pigs must have perpetrated upon these birds to have upset them so?”

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