How cool is it that even though my oldest son is thousands of miles away in Iraq, I can ask him a question and get an instant reply–which is usually what I need when I ask a question! People sometimes complain about too much technology and say they want to get back to the “simple life”, but maybe they should just visit that simple life by taking a vacation in the mountains, or something. I remember when I chickened out of going to college the first year out of high school and was left at home working with all my friends away at school. The only way I could keep in touch with them was writing letters, or the occasional long-distance phone call. I went to the store and picked out some cute stationery and waited for news of what they were up to. By the time I got their letter, the news was already old news. Today, you can get a group of friends together the same day without making a single awkward phone call. My kids have hundreds of friends from different schools and probably keep in touch with them as well as I could with my small group of good friends back in the day. It’s so much easier to connect with people and stay connected.
When my kids are away at college, I don’t even feel like they’re that far away. I just drop them a text and get an instant answer. Texting is my preferred way of talking to them because I swear my ears are too old to hear them very well when we try to actually talk on the cell phone. I can hear fine on our landline, but get me on the cell and I’m like, “What? What did you just say?” Maybe it’s like those ringtones you can’t hear once you hit 30.
Anyway, for all those curmudgeons out there, I think we’re moving in the right direction. Technology is good. Everytime I hear about “increased activity” in Iraq, I can feel better being able to Instant Message my son and get a reply from him. I don’t know how parents could get any sleep in past wars when they couldn’t reach their kids except by letter. But I still write letters, too. I just IM’ed my son today and told him to look for some letters coming soon from me, his aunt, and his grandma.