Thursday, March 14, 2013

From bare feet to iPads

A jovial Thursday to you all! Ashley here, comin' at ya from work again. Sorry this is coming to you so late! Yeah... I've been working some weird schedules this week, and let me tell you, it has been rough on all of us at home. My poor little man was incredibly grumpy about his teeth today and I just felt so bad for him! He is NOT a fussy baby, so to have him full blown screaming was pretty upsetting as well as frustrating. But now he's watching some hockey with daddy, so it sounds like he's doing better.

Moving on...

I've been thinking a lot lately about what my son will grow up with. And for that matter, what I didn't grow up with. I'm a 90's kid. I was born in '88, so I was raised in the 90's. And I think they were awesome! Perhaps the fashion world had seen better times than they did in the 90's, but still... I enjoyed myself. :) But technology... It seems like things were fairly stagnant and then all of a sudden BOOM! It took off! I don't really remember a time that my family didn't have a computer. But I do remember taking computer and typing class in the library at school. I wonder... Do kids even need to take computer class or typing class anymore? Do they even have those classes in schools? Nineties kids, I know you remember The Oregon Trail. For those of you who don't, this was the computer game that we played to learn typing. It was a very basic game. I also remember playing on my family's computer at home. The best game ever was Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?! I loved it! It was very much the black screen, green letters when you type game. From there, I remember when my family got Internet. It must have been 1998. Now, I got to play games online!!! I thought having the Internet was the coolest thing ever! I remember the first time I opened the Internet browser... I felt like a rich kid! Something in my 10-year-old head told me that only rich people had the Internet! Haha! But I remember that my favorite game to play on the computer, was this Tarzan game that was advertised on the Disney channel. Then instant messaging became more popular and effective than emailing, and I remember wasting HOURS through high school IMing my friends - what we had to talk about that was so important and couldn't wait for school the next day, I have no idea, but I would click away for hour after hour. Now we can get the Internet just about whenever and wherever we want to! That was fast! And still, technology morphs and grows daily. It's weird to think that my son will never know a world without the Internet.

And let's talk about gaming... I grew up with my parents' original Nintendo system. I loved playing Mario and could FLY through the first few levels with my eyes closed. Then there was Excite Bike and Duck Hunt... Anyone remember these games? Well... The next game system we had was a Sega Saturn. They must not have lasted very long, because people don't seem to even remember that this system even existed in time. We didn't have it for long, but the next system we got was the Nintendo 64. We got it for Christmas 1999. I remember, because I also got an inflatable chair for my room that Christmas as well! It was silver and oh, so cool and "futuristic". Think "Xenon" and "Xenon the Xequel" on Disney channel. You know you remember those movies! Don't even pretend like you don't. Anyway... Back on games. This was the last game system my family purchased while I was growing up. I mean, in a family full of women, gaming wasn't a priority. You know what? I lied. For Christmas, years later, we got my Mom the Miss Pacman plug 'n' play. THAT was fun! We got to get our butts kicked by our parents, playing the games THEY grew up with! Anywho... I did really enjoy the Nintendo 64 for a while. A friend who lived across the street had a lot more games than I did, so sometimes, we wasted weekends, having sleepovers and playing Zelda and Gauntlet. Oh... Did I not mention that I'm a bit of a nerd? Well, now you know. At one point in time I remember owning a portable Aladdin game, as well as a Gameboy. But I don't remember when, or where they came from. Now, my husband and I own an Xbox 360 with Kinect, a Playstation 3, a GameCube, a Nintendo 64, a regular Xbox, a regular Playstation, and my dad loaned us the Nintendo that I grew up with! It's a lot of gaming systems, I know. But in each one, there is a history. A history of technology and graphics, and a history of each of our childhoods. Watching MH play video games now is sometimes more entertaining than a movie. These games have graphics that I call "more realistic than real life" and plots that are more complex and involved than most movies. It's crazy to think about where games will go from here and to imagine what video games baby C might be playing when he's my age.

Let's reminisce on communication. As far as cell phones go, I will admit that I was a little late in the game by the time I got to college, but I never saw a huge need for one before then. Sure, I wanted one, but I didn't really need one. Growing up with four women in my house, phone time was precious and shared. Having call waiting was both a blessing and a curse, because I could find out if a friend called while my sister was on the phone, but I didn't want to take my mom's calls while I was talking to one of MY friends! Ugh! Being 12 was so awful! Haha! Then cell phones appeared and I remember my mom had one of the flip phones with the long antennas. We never had the gigantic ones, circa "My Best Friend's Wedding", but she had the one after that... Where it flipped down and the keys turned green when you pushed them. She then had a flatter "sleeker" phone a few years later, but it was also terribly primitive in the span of cell phone technology. Our family went through Nokia bricks (which was actually my first phone that I dropped in a water ride at Elitches in high school), flip phones, phones with riveting games such as Tetris on them, all the way to texting phones (remember when certain phones didn't even have texting capabilities?), and touch screens. Then I got my OWN cell phone after I graduated high school(thanks to my older sister D and her husband S who added me to their plan so I could take it to college!). The first smart phone I had was a blackberry and I vowed that I would never have a touch screen phone! But here I am today, after going through 3 blackberries, an Android and a Samsung Galaxy, with an iPhone AND an iPad, and I hardly remember the days of typing on a qwerty board.

Are you all catching what I'm talking about here? Things are changing. This world is changing. And fast. Before all of these inconvenient conveniences existed, life was lived in slow motion. I played outside with bare feet, running around with the neighborhood kids, inventing games and exploring the creek behind our house. I want to share THIS part of my life with baby C. I want him to have his best memories come from playing outside. Sure, technology is a HUGE part of my life. MH is a technophile and I'll admit that being able to check Facebook on my phone feeds my need for constant contact with people; getting my work email at all hours of the day is terribly convenient. BUT... When my parents came home from work when I was little, they were home. They didn't continue to talk to co-workers or employers. No one could get in touch with them 24/7. And that meant that we had all of their attention. That's what I want with C. But when will he ask for a cell phone? When will he want a Facebook account? (Facebook used to only allow college students, and it launched the year before I started college.) I constantly wonder if I know how to raise a child in a technologically drenched world. On one hand, I want to share with him all of the wonderful things that can come from a life with limited technology and create memories not interrupted by these virtual things. On the other hand, I also want to share with C, the "tech-y" things that I was raised with. I want him to watch cartoons before they were digitally animated; I want him to play video games that are "primitive"; I want him to write letters to family members and enjoy talking to people before his thumbs are attached to a phone, as he texts. And even still... I want him to enjoy and appreciate technology as it continues to grow. It's something that his father is truly passionate about and therefore a very important part of our lives, but I can only hope to find a good balance.

What do you hope to share with your little ones from your childhood? What are things you miss about being an "unplugged" society? If you have older kids, how have you addressed this issue of a technologically drenched world?

Thanks for letting me reminisce tonight! Sorry if this is all over the place!

Here is my OOTD:
Yes, I'm in the bathroom at work again! Lol

Anyway... Love and zebra hugs to you all! And I send you wishes for a wonderful Friday!


  1. I was born in '85, and was a 90s child--a lot of 90s stuff I loved. Ha ha. OMG I used to LOVE oregon trail game! And super Nintendo brothers. Like you, I do want a lot of things I was exposed to to be shared with Forrest (snail mail, reading books-the actual books instead of tablets, and so many more).

    I do admit that I spent a lot of my time "plugged". It is hard for me to unplug myself so having Forrest is a good reminder for me to take myself away from technology, and enjoy what we have around ourselves. I really look forward to spring so we can get out of the house, and do things away from technology for a few hours at time.

    I want to have a "date" hour with my kid(s) as they grow up so they have time with their mommy, and do things they want with me. :)

    1. Connor is definitely one constant that encourages me to unplug and he has honestly reminded me of how beautiful this world is!

      I love the idea of "dates" with your children! I remember my parents used to take turns going on occasional "dates" with us girls when we were growin up. I should continue that with Connor! :) thanks for the "brain seed". :)