I’m not cool. I listen almost exclusively to classic rock, and I cannot pass up a Golden Girls rerun marathon. I don’t have a sophisticated cell phone, iPad, mp3 player, gaming console, GPS, TiVo or any other trendy electronic devices. Now, I’m not a total cave-dweller; I do have a computer, a simple cell phone, a television and a DVD player, but that’s about it. And I’m fine with that.
Nearly six years ago, my husband and I bought a move-in-ready home in a newly built, family friendly neighborhood that boasts a swimming pool, playground, tennis and basketball courts, a park and walking trails that encircle ponds and lagoons. We knew we’d have to make a lot of sacrifices to afford our home, and that means foregoing things we can do without, i.e. fancy technology.
The sacrifices don’t bother us because we know our daughter is growing up in a safe, clean area, and that peace of mind is worth its weight in gold. However, I can’t help but worry occasionally that my failure to embrace new technology, hip music and reality TV shows will somehow hinder my daughter’s ability to take advantage of the gizmos, gadgets and ever-evolving pop culture that are beginning to define society. Do “uncool” parents equal an “uncool” child?
It’s not that I care about my daughter’s coolness factor. I’m much more focused on seeing to it that she grows up to be a kind, hard-working, productive citizen on whom others can depend. On the other hand, however, I want her to be able to use and understand all the resources available to her in order to someday thrive as a student and, later, an adult in the workforce. What’s a technologically challenged mom to do?
Luckily, since my little girl is only 6 months old, I have a few years to catch up — although I have seen more than a few toddlers in strollers wiggling their stubby little fingers over iPads.
Futhermore, I realize my window of opportunity to wrap my head around emerging technology and help my daughter do the same is rapidly closing. Before I know it, she’ll be heading off to junior high and then high school, and I’ve known very few teenagers who thought their parents were cool. I doubt a mountain of smart phones, tablets and mp3 players could help me once we get to that point.
Eh, who knows, though? Maybe by then someone will have developed an app to help clueless parents get their acts together. Now, if I could only figure out what, exactly, an app is and how to get one, I’d be in good shape.
Hollie Moore Barnidge is the managing editor for the Coastal Courier in Hinesville.