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So much for new technology

Youth zone
Nancy MacGregor

It had been two years. I couldn’t believe it. The Verizon man was telling me I had $100 credit on my phone if I wanted to get the newest, latest and greatest model ” you know, the phone that does everything (if you can figure out how to do everything, that is).

I really had grown to like my “old” phone. We had a comfortable relationship and it had taken me the better part of two years to figure out half its features. The other half I didn’t much care about.

But the best part of the deal on this fancy new phone was that they were marked down to $99.99, and better yet, they were buy-one, get-one-free. How could I possibly go wrong?

So I got it, the shiny new slim fit-in-your pocket black Viper, or Flipper? Or maybe it’s a Diper? Whatever it was, I couldn’t see the letters on the tiny buttons, and it flipped open three different ways. If you wanted to text, the numbers were sideways, and every time I touched it I pushed three buttons I didn’t want to.

So much for new technology. I was lost and really wanted my comfort zone back.

After several days of frustration, I calmed down and decided there was no point throwing the phone at the dog, the cat, or my husband (it really wasn’t their fault). I thought, OK, it’s the change I don’t want. I don’t want to change my ways for anything, anyone, anymore. But, that was not an option. Yes, good morals, beliefs and positive behaviors need to remain with us, but how we communicate and relate to other people does have to change with the times, much to my chagrin.

Let’s face it. Kids don’t communicate with parents like they used to. When I was growing up, we actually talked ” sometimes for quite a while. We called each other.

Yes, we used the voice part of the phone.

So I have begrudgingly learned the art of texting, not very well, but I’ve learned. I’m rather proud I’m able to send a readable message with the sideways numbers and microscopic buttons. And thus we keep up the communication.

The youth group kids I work with were totally shocked.

“You mean you text?” they ask me.

“Well, I need to talk to you somehow … ” I reply.

“Cool!” they say. So that door is open, and I hear from them more often, which his good.

Then there are times when old-fashioned values and past ways of doing things take over. When we actually have a group discussion, or a real “family” conversation, the cell phones are turned off. We share, we laugh, and we even notice each other’s expressions and body language. Amazing what a text message doesn’t catch. It’s refreshing, and our fingers get a rest.

So whether you are a texting parent, or a good old-fashioned talking parent, it doesn’t matter. The point is, keep the conversations with your kids going, whatever it takes.

YouthZone parent classes and coaches are here to offer suggestions to your parenting questions, and to give you tools for better communication.

Give us a call ” yes, using the voice part of the phone. After all, kids are our most precious possessions, and giving in to changing technology can help keep us all in touch.

Nancy MacGregor is a YouthZone Pals case manager


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