I taught my oldest grandgirl to text when she was five years old. I let her use my iPhone to communicate with her mom, who was on a business trip. Her texts were not grammatically correct with perfect spelling, but they got the love across. I caught some flack for it, not from her parents, but from my peers. Texting, it seems has gotten a bad rap due to the stupid people. You know, those who text while driving, walking, running, in meetings, in class, while you’re talking to them. I didn’t teach her to text so she could become one of those people. I taught her to text so she would have access to communication with her family, and extended family, members.
Fast forward three years and you will find both my grandgirls are text fluent, phone fluent, and self-assured that they can reach out to any family member they need. Recently, we got new phones, and my DH (dear husband) gave his deactivated phone to the oldest. Now, the girls LOVE iMessage, which bypasses the texting infrastructure and goes out over the “cloud”. I get my good morning and good night messages every day. They like having the ability to bypass the ‘rents and go straight to Grandma and Grandpa. They enjoy making plans with us for our time together, which is often.
This all leads up to a revelation. Last week, Miranda, the oldest, messaged her grandpa, “Can I facetime on this thing?” His answer, “Yes”, was delivered via Facetime. She squealed with laughter and delight, “Hang up, Grandpa, I want to call my Mama.” Her mother travels for business, often. For this child and her sister, Riley, to see and talk to their mom when she is away is really important. For them to be able to do it “just because” is simply beautiful.
This is why I love technology. I have lived in a house with no running water, no telephone or television, no toilet. I have gone from a party-line to a phone with 4 lines to a cell phone with no land line. I can take a call from my son-in-law while grocery shopping, and I can talk face-to-face with my son, who lives three thousand miles away. I can write this on a piece of paper, a laptop, or my phone, and I can read any book I want, anywhere, on any device.
For all you Luddites and technophobes out there, you just keep the old ways alive. Myself, I am going to embrace change and enjoy the adventure.
I watch my grandgirls absorb technological innovations into their lives and wonder-What will they see in their lifetimes? Will they eventually be able to live anywhere and simply step through a door to visit each other? My heart lifts in excitement for them.