Everyday technological advances fascinate me. I spent most of my childhood with 13 TV channels, no remote control, no TV recording capabilities, no microwave, and no computer. Instead of a smartphone, I grew up with a wall-mounted push-button (the latest technology!) with a 6 foot, tangled, curly cord that I would stretch all the way to the coat closet for privacy. If I wanted to contact a friend, I called them and hoped I didn't get a busy signal, or worse, the forever ring that indicated no one was home. There were no answering machines or voicemail.
My kids' world is so very different.
Exhibit A: A couple of days ago, Reece and Taite were playing, and he told her, "BRB" as he ran to get something. As in, the text/IM version of "be right back". Which I probably don't need to explain to anyone reading a blog, but just in case...
The thing is, Reece has never IM'ed anyone, and he doesn't have a cell phone. I finally figured out he picked it up from Club Penguin, which is the elementary school equivalent of talking to your friends online, in the form of a technicolor, dressed up penguin. Again, just in case you are among the uninitiated.
I searched dictionary.com, and guess what? BRB is listed. So are LOL, LMAO, TTYL, and other internet acronyms. I don't know if they are actually included in printed versions of Merriam-Webster yet, because we don't own a recently-printed dictionary...the internet has rendered that need obsolete. I'm sure it's only a matter of time, if they're not already "official" words.
Exhibit B: Today Taite was doing her usual "why do you have to go to work, Daddy?" morning routine. Matt told her he had customers to see, and she said, "You could just video chat with them." It blows me away that video chatting is such a nonchalant part of my six-year-old's mentality. When I was six, that was something only the Jetson's did.
Exhibit C: This shirt is part of Reece's back to school wardrobe.
When I brought it home and had him try it on, I asked if he knew what those were on the front. He did recognize them as tapes, but when I asked if he knew what they were for, he said, "Ummm...sound or something?" He has no frame of reference, of course. He has never listened to music on a tape, even though his older brother and sister did. To him, music has always only been on computers, iPods, and CDs. Will his children wear a t-shirt with "old school" CDs or iPods all over it, and have no clue what they were used for?
I am all for embracing technology, as well as celebrating both the similarities and the differences of life "then and now". It's fun to speculate what will come next, or to imagine how life will be different in another 40 years.
And if the Jetsons continue to be accurate in their futuristic predictions, definitely sign me up for a Rosie the Robot!