When I’m trying to figure out how to do something on the computer and find myself getting stumped, I have a “go-to” person for advice – my teenage son.
Of course, he usually gives me that “Mom … how could you possibly not know how do to this?” look, but  he answers my questions and usually doesn’t get too impatient with me until I have to ask him a second or third time because the concept of what I’m trying to do just seems beyond my brain.
I try to explain to him that, while he has grown up with computers – accepting them as a standard part of the classroom since kindergarten -  I did not touch fingertips to electronic keyboard until I was an adult working at my first job.
In fact, I didn’t even take typing class until I was, I think, a sophomore or junior in high school. I remember well sitting in Jim McLucas’ basement classroom at KHS, clack-clacking away at an old manual Remington  and wondering if I would ever get to the point that I could type without actually looking at the keyboard.
I also remember well that first day of my general reporting class at Fairmont State when our instructor told us we would learn to compose our stories right on the typewriter – no handwriting stories and then typing them up was to be allowed.
I thought she was crazy.
Now, I am so used to writing on a computer that I absolutely hate hand writing or typing anything. In fact, I sold my typewriter many years ago at a yard sale.
I can’t help but wonder if my son has ever even seen a typewriter.
It just amazes me when I think of all the changes which I have lived through that he, at 17, takes for granted.
I remember being so excited over the first VCR I ever purchased – a large silver-colored box which cost me a hefty $500+ (it was equipped for stereo!). Prior to that, if I wanted to watch a movie at home, I had to search the TV Guide for an interesting-looking Movie of the Week.
Aaron, on the other hand,  barely remembers watching his “Barney” tapes when he was a baby, and most of his movie memories come in the form of DVDs, Pay Per View, and an Internet-based service he uses now that allows him to view movies through his xbox.
I remember the days when our moms stood on the front porch and yelled for us to come in to dinner. Aaron, on the other hand, has been connected to his family and friends via a cell phone since he was in the fifth grade.
Last week, when I was driving him and two of his buddies (my “other” sons) to the beach for a couple days, one of them asked, “how much longer till we get there?” (You know, I think they ask that question more now, as teenagers, than they did when they were younger!)
Taking stock of how long we’d been driving, and where we were at the time, I guestimated, “probably about two hours.”
Aaron, however, pulled his iPhone out of his pocket, hit a few keys, and announced, “exactly two hours and 12 minutes.”
Amazing.
I have to say, it’s been quite an education for me – but I have enjoyed the learning process.
I remember the only piece of career advice my dad ever gave me when I was poised to graduate from high school was to go into computers because “that’s where the money’s going to be.”
My answer, in a rather whiney voice: “But Dad, I DON’T LIKE computers!”
Now, I use one every day – researching and writing stories, updating the paper’s website, sending and receiving emails and whatever else needs to be done. I truly wonder what we ever did without them.
And yes, when I get home, surfing the web and keeping up with old friends on facebook is now one of the ways that I relax in the evening.
My, how times change!