Thursday, December 15, 2011


Found this picture here.

I remember the first cell phone my dad brought home. It was literally the size of a brick but somehow managed to look quite chic in it's black case hanging off of his braided belt. When it rang, he would unclip it and gently raise the antenna before speaking. This antenna-pulling is a faint memory of mine... so faint that it prompted a text to my dad to make sure, "Didn't you have to pull an antenna up on your first cell phone? Am I remembering that right?" His response, "Yes. The first two or three of them." Now my cell phone is small enough it consistently disappears inside my purse, causing slight chaos and frustration when I can hear it ringing, but can't seem to grab on to it... and many times, in my search, my finger brushes the touch-screen just right, answering the phone before I even know exactly where it is...


Miles and I were scrolling through the pictures on my blog today, pausing at each one for him to exclaim "Teh-nee! Cahsn! Mie-yuls!" Going through pictures is one of his favorite activities, and I can generally get a lot of work done in the ways of sifting through, deleting, and renaming pictures while Miles sits on my lap for the slide-show. It doesn't bother him if I go back through the same pictures 47 times while trying to decide which ones will end up in the recycle bin. (PS - does anyone else find it odd that the garbage area on a computer is labeled a 'recycle bin'? Really? How, exactly, is my computer going to re-use my thousands of picture files?) Today I didn't have much time to sit in front of the computer, however, so after scrolling down my blog page once, I plopped him down on the swivel chair and showed him how to use the mouse to scroll through the pictures himself. I busied myself by picking up the endless scraps of paper littered throughout the office from one of McKenzie's unfinished craft ideas (which seem to be silently taking over our lives...). Moments later, I looked at him and was shocked, for the millionth time in my life, at how much things have changed since I was a kid... it really hasn't been that long, you know. But, there my baby was, propped up on his knees, face inches away from the computer screen, scrolling away through digital pictures with his pudgy 2-year-old hand.


"Mrs. Alder, do you know how to use the Nook?" I was sitting at the back table of McKenzie's second grade classroom grading papers last Tuesday. I looked up at Ms. M. who was busy with a crowd of kids around her to see her eyes waiting for my response. Her classroom has 5 color Nooks - Barnes and Noble's popular version of a Kindle - and the children seem to enjoy reading from them. I glanced over at the Nook table and noticed there was a bit of commotion; it seemed a few of the children were confused and the assistant, Mrs. R., had just straightened up and shrugged her shoulders in helplessness. "Well, I haven't actually ever seen one before, but I think I can figure it out," I responded. Taking the first color Nook in my hand, I gently ran my finger along the screen to help the first child select a book to read. "Oh my," said Mrs. R. over my shoulder, "you just touch the screen, huh?"
"Yeah, pretty crazy, isn't it?" I said back.
"My, oh, my." She walked away shaking her head in disbelief.

I know where she's coming from. It seems a little futuristic to me, too. But many of those kids held the Nooks with no fear, navigating them with ease. One little girl even made reference to her own Nook at home, and taught me how to get back to the library page. You won't ever see a child of today shake his head in disbelief at a touch screen.


The days of cell phone antennas were limited from the beginning... Could the days of the computer mouse be approaching the same fate? To me, seeing my 2-year-old's hand guiding it around the mouse pad seemed a sign of how far things had come... But for him, maybe someday he'll look back on a faint memory and ask,

"Wait, didn't we used to use a mouse to guide ourselves around the screen? Am I remembering that right?"


  1. I had a moment of that technological whiplash when I was remembering that there was a time when I couldn't call somewhere right when I had the thought...that I had to remember until I got back to my apartment! And then neither person would have had voice mail, so I might have had to call back repeatedly! On a phone hooked to the wall by a cord! It really is crazy...

  2. On macs it's a trash can:). One of my friends said her daughter was shocked to find out that when she was a little girl they had "wall phones". I do faintly remember my mom winding around the kitchen with that long curly chord attached to the phone, but even that seems old fashioned to me now. I wonder what crazy things we haven't even envisioned will be a normal part of our kids lives?

  3. I remember using a joystick, nothing joyful about that, to play my games. I remember getting our first vcr and how cool it was. Oh and the first answering machine was so awesome! Now the kids in my class look at me like I'm crazy because I don't have a cell phone.

  4. after that you think I'll tell you who I am, how about you guess?4:08 PM

    Actually the recycle bin is very important. You see the "bits" are all ones and zeros inside the computer, however, there is a finite amount that exist based on the amount of RAM and the size of the hard disk. So if you use them all up, your computer will crash, the familiar windows blue screen. Macs recycle all the time, so they don't run into this problem as often. Periodically it is important to empty the recycle bin so that all these bits can be re-used by the computer again.


  5. Ha! Let's see ... people who read my blog that might know something about 'bits'...

    You must be my brother, Brian... or maybe Russ?

    Thanks for the laugh. :) (Yet another reason to get a Mac, right?)

  6. Miles can use a mouse?! What?!