Thursday, July 11, 2013

Technology Junkies

My grandkids range in age from one to six and every one of them is a technology junkie.  So these days, scenes like the one below tend to be the norm rather than the exception.

Mostly, their parents and I have our iPhones to thank for this.  Even the two baby boys, Beenie and Zoomba, use their little forefingers to scroll expertly through my camera roll file.  Beenie will stop every time he sees the right arrow symbol that signals a video.  He loves watching the clips I have recorded of him and his cousins doing just about everything children do. 

The older kids are always insisting that I "take a movie" of them doing this or that.  And so, my camera roll is filled with documentation of such things as Bootsie singing the ABC song on the potty and Sooby and Pooh singing "Charlotte Town Is Burning Down" over pancakes at breakfast.

Other equally captivating footage preserves for posterity the fab five as they dance, read, tell jokes, build blocks, laugh, cough (fake), tell jokes, learn to crawl, learn to walk--and the list stretches on.

The other morning Sooby's mama just about spewed an ill-timed sip of coffee out into the living room when Sooby asked me if she could send a text message.  (I always hope that Sooby and Pooh won't tell all our secrets, but in the end I usually get caught.)  She and I had collaborated on a series of texts to Beenie's mama on an earlier visit.

The handful of games I have downloaded to my iPhone have opened a whole new can of techno-worms to the mix.  I once lost a close game of Word With Friends to my son Teebo when one of the kids hit the button that skipped my turn.

During his recent week-long visit at our house, Pooh, at age four, became quite proficient at the game "Temple Run," which the kids all call "Guy."  (It was two-year-old Bootsie who first called it this, because the game features a "guy" running through a hazardous obstacle course to escape a flock of demon monkeys.)

With practice, Pooh has gotten good enough to occasionally attain boosts that give "guy" extra speed or make him invincible (Pooh says "convincible") for a short time.  These different powers are designated with different colors, so, as he plays, it is not unusual to hear Pooh holler things like "Googie!  I got the blue guy stuff."

I try to watch pretty closely when the kids are even in the same room with my iPhone, but once in a while I pay dearly for the sin of slight inattention.  Twice now, Pooh has somehow managed to share his "Temple Run" score to my Facebook page.  At least his game skills have improved to the point that it doesn't embarrass me that much anymore.

The old Atari system that my own children first knew seems so antiquated now.  The later-generation Mario and Luigi could not, in their wildest dreams, have run with the speed and finesse of our beloved "guy." 

I never cease to be amazed at the way these kids today seem to embrace and adapt so naturally to the new state-of-the-art technologies.  I admire that ability and encourage it because, like it or not, they are the way of the future to which these children belong.

I don't think it is too bad a deal that the kids are technology junkies on a limited basis.  After all, we still have our songs and our books and our hugs.  There are plenty of other times during the day when we rely on those old stand-bys.  Even "guy," in all his high-tech glory, is not always convincible.


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