My son is now a teenager, and along with that comes everything that entails being a typical teen. You know, the eye rolls, the short answers, the complete lack of information unless it’s painfully mined through a series of the aforementioned short answers. I still love my son, even as I struggle to keep up with him as he matures into a young man.
But one thing I’ve noticed is that he loves his gadgets. At first, I fought his fascination with devices. He is not as bad as many teens I’ve seen, but he does like his smartphone and tablet. However, after careful consideration, I have decided that it is me that needs to be more understanding of technology. Let me tell you why.
Technology and Your Teenager
My Son Grew Up with Technology
While I think technology is incredible, it wasn’t a fixture in my life when I was a child or a teen. In fact, it was later in life before smartphones were even available, so it is all new to me still. I’m still in the honeymoon stage with pocketable computers.
But to my son, smartphones have always been there. Since he’s been old enough to care, there’s never been a time in his life when he couldn’t whip out a smartphone and google an answer. That is his curiosity anchor, and no doubt he likes having it at his disposal. Many people, like Adrian Rubin, use technology as a simple tool. My son does the same.
To be honest, I also like having a world of information at my disposal. I often find myself looking up odd, and utterly irrelevant information as the curiosity mood strikes me. It’s convenient, and it has also settled many playful arguments with my husband.
What If I had Grown Up with Smartphones and Tablets
I already mentioned how I like to use a smartphone as an instant source of information. Every time I do, I appreciate the device and the data connection that makes it possible. But what if I too had grown up with that technology as a teenager.
Sometimes I try to find a comparison so that I can understand his rationale for technology better. For me, I think it might be cable TV. I have had access to cable TV for most of my life. I don’t think about, I just use it.
If the remote doesn’t change the channel, I don’t think about how great it is to have a hundred channels from which to choose something to watch.
No, I’m just seriously irked that the remote fails to work, whether it is the remote or the cable company causing the problem. I don’t even consider what it used to be like to have to turn the antenna to change the channel, or having only three working channels.
I think my son will have the same outlook on his technology (smartphones and tablets) as I did mine (cable TV.) Of course, the sad truth is that his technology is replacing mine, with more choices and greater flexibility in watching than I ever dreamed was possible.
But that’s okay since I can still take advantage of those advancements. On second thought, all those smartphones, tablets, and streaming media sources, that’s OUR technology. He’s just going to have to learn how to share.
And I wonder if I’d had a smartphone as a teenager if I would have shared my meals for the world to see? Probably.