Monday, July 16, 2007

Technology and Motherhood

I'm 35 and have been feeling a little, er--okay--a lot, out of touch with technology recently. For years I've heard my own mom say things like, "I just don't understand why people bother with e-mail. Isn't it a lot easier to just pick-up the phone and talk in person?" Well, I'm turning into my mom. Not that I have a problem with email. I'm very savvy in that department. But, I recently caught myself saying, "I don't understand texting, it's so cumbersome, if the phone is in your hand, why don't you just dial the number and save yourself a lot of trouble". Yikes! Sounds all too much like Nancy!

My husband is as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning over his new Blackberry, so now he's texting all his friends and family--including me. I keep reminding him that I don't have texting on my cell phone plan, and have no clue how much it's costing me to view the flashing smiley faces and photos he's sending my way, but that hasn't slowed him down. I decided it was time to overcome my fear of texting and give my thumbs the workout they've been needing (how many calories do you think texting burns?). In about the amount of time it's taken me to write the two paragraphs above, I was able to send him the following, "u shld take kids to fireworks aftr movie". In no more than 10 seconds he'd texted back a response. Rats! Now I'd committed to an exchange and was going to have to give up a considerable amount of my evening to type back and forth. How was I supposed to keep up with this pace?

For anyone savvy with texting, I come off sounding like someone afraid of technology. But truthfully, only a few short years ago I was a pro. I lived and worked in Silicon Valley and although I was a marketing person my friends and family routinely called me for technical support on their techno gadgets--and strange as it may sound now, I was generally able to provide pretty darn good free advice and assistance. Alas, after birthing and raising two more children (I had just one child back then) my brain has turned to mush (or so it seems to me on most days). My neighbors and I often joke that we can't imagine ourselves ever being employable again. It's hard to imagine that only five years ago I was making strategic decisions, adding value to a team of business professionals. And now, here I am struggeling to get a handle on texting. Ahhh, the joys of motherhood!

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. Truthfully I wouldn't want any other job right now. Years ago I used to see business professionals out to lunch and would yearn for the days when I too wore nice clothes and spent my days chatting intellectually with other adults. But, about a year ago I was out and about on a beautiful Spring day. My kids were excited to be meeting up with daddy for lunch. As we piled out of the car I spotted a group of office workers headed back to work after lunch. And for the first time I realized I pittied them instead of envied them. I was looking forward to laying in the cool grass at the park that afternoon and somehow an afternoon of breathing in stale boardroom air, staring at a computer screen and making phone calls paled in comparison to my plans.

So for now, I love motherhood, but need to find a way to exercise my brain more than I do currently. I love to read, but haven't made it a priority (my's just too easy to pull an HGTV show off the DVR rather than picking up a good book). I'm not sure texting will get my brain back in shape, but maybe it will make me feel a little more hip. We'll see. I'm skeptical. Nevertheless, I'm willing to try. I'm not ready to join the ranks of techno-incompetents just yet!


matt said...

Oh I completely agree with the whole text messaging thing. Matt will text message me in the afternoons between surgeries. He'll text "how is your day going?" First of all, I am not sure what the point is to text message him back "Good." He'll get home from work and ask "why didn't you text me back today?" I guess I'm still thinking text messaging is pretty pointless-- It really is not communicating.

Although, I love that if you dial 411 fpr a phone number they send a text message of the number for free. I also love text messaging google for free phone numbers, movie times, I guess I only like text messaging when it benefits me! :)

LOVE your blog. You and Angela are such good writers.

Name: Angela said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one slow to pick up on the idea of text messaging! I definitely don't want to fall any farther behind in the tech world, but I don't see the point of texting Courtney in the middle of school. Although many of my friends -- who I really respect -- say it's been invaluable for communicating with their teen. So... I'll follow your leads and try to learn how!

Nancy said...

Hey you guys I can text!! That doesn't mean I like it. All those younger people I meet live by it. I can call for free, texting costs me money. I'm turning over a new leaf as of this moment--no more texting--it is ruining my phone budget (that's as good excuse as any for not doing something I don't like! If someone sends me a text message, I'll call back, unless I'm in Italy where it is cheaper to text! I love your blog Michelle. I read it to Marge this morning and we both laughed and laughed. You are an excellent writer. All my children are excellent writers--thoughtful, funny, interesting, etc--so logic tells me I am a darn good mother!!!! Six out of six incredible, smart, caring, down to earth, real, charactered, caring, beautiful kids.