Monday, May 2, 2011

Using Technology To Succeed.

I think I was a little remiss on Friday’s post in my rant against technology.  You see, I failed to take into consideration all the good that can come from it.  Just think of everything we’d lose without it.  Think of all the vaccines that we would never have had to debate over whether or not to give our kids.  Think of all those 911 calls we wouldn’t have made because our French fries weren’t hot enough or because the cashier at McDonalds didn’t give us our correct change or because there was an actual emergency.  But, above all, think of all the knowledge we wouldn’t have access to because there is no internet with out technology.

Technology is a double edged sword, and it is up to us to wield it properly.

As parents there are so many useful things out there that can help us help our children, and to think technology and ingenuity provided the means of bringing these tools to our attention and all that.  So, I should probably take back some of the things I said on Friday's post, but I still believe that the heart of what I said was correct.

Cellphones are actually quite nifty little devices.

There, I said it!

Yes, I remember my rant lamenting cell phones, but when our children become teenagers cell phones provide such a neat, invisible leash.  The cellphone is awesome in its ability for us to keep track of the kiddos.  You know what the best part of it is?  We don’t even have to call or text them to find out where they are because, let's face it, they'd probably lie to us about their actual whereabouts anyway, which is why it is so cool that most of the new phones have the option to have GPS location embedded in them.  have I said that this was freakin’ cool yet?!  Well, it is.  Instead of calling or texting your teenage brat, all you have to do is look up where they are.  Sure, you can call them and check up on them too.  Then you can catch them in all their lies.  How fun is that going to be?  

Boy am I glad cellphones weren't around when I was younger!

The kindle is also another neat little device that i tend to get annoyed with.  But, alas, I am wrong again because it allows you to have I don’t know how many books all wrapped up in one neat little, easy to carry package.  Just think what that could mean!  Do you remember when you were in high school and college?  Do you remember having to lug around a bunch of heavy books?  I do.  I look at this kindle book reader thing, and I am a little ticked off that it came around too late for me to really use it for what I would want it for.  Sure, it would be cool to own one as an adult too, but as a student I think it would be way cooler to have for just the amount of weight it would take off your back alone!  I could have had all my school books in my back pocket.  Man, I am pissed that it waited until I was in my mid-late twenties before it finally made its heroic arrival.  

The internet is another awesome tool that we as parents cannot afford to not utilize.  I can’t even tell you how much information and help is out there for you to take in because I don’t know, but I know it is a lot.  You can find out pretty much anything you want.  Whether you want to find out what exactly it is your kid is saying to you or you want to find out how to help your kid succeed in school, the answer can probably be found on the net.  Say there is a subject that your kid is struggling with in school and you are not so good with it yourself.  Well, login and within minutes you can find all sorts of helpful information.  

It is amazing, and I am not sure how we ever survived prior to the development of the internet!  Life is just so much easier!   Take this for instance.  The other day I was noodling around on the net and I found this site, thewritingfaculty.com.  It is an online tutoring service that helps student with their writing.  They have a virtual online classroom, which replicates face to face interaction between the tutor and the student.  

Now, that’s pretty cool, and the best part of it is that you never need to have a stranger enter your home!  So, there would be no frantic cleaning before the tutor arrived, and your neighbors and their snot nosed little brats will never pick on you (or your kid rather) for getting help from a tutor.  Those bullying little bastards would never need to know about it because they would never see someone show up in front of your house with the words “Private Tutor” written on their vehicle, mortifying your own bratty teen.  

I wish that something like that would have been available when I was a high school student or even in college, not because I would be embarrassed to have anyone know that I was getting help from a tutor but because it would have been so convenient.  And, it might have even helped to alleviate some stress in my marriage.  Man, to think of all the fights my wife and I could have avoided because I had her proofread all my college papers.  Thanks a lot thewritingfaculty.com!  Where were you when I was busy being an ass to my wife after she so graciously agreed to help me?   I could have been an ass to one of your tutors instead.  My life would have been so much easier!  

Anyway, in regards to my April 29th post lamenting technology I was kind of wrong, but I am too proud to admit it fully.  I was too worked up over having to go to a website in order to talk to someone about my internet bill, and I was still a little flabbergasted at how this vile mother ignored her kids, who were desperate for her attention, at the park to really consider how much good technology has done for us before I railed against it.  

I firmly believe that technology helps us just as much as, if not more than, it hinders.  This is even true for us parents.  Technology is a tremendous asset that we can tap in order to help us raise our kids.  We just have to know how to use it properly.  It is because of technology that we have this thing called a cellphone, or the invisible leash as I like to call it.  We can keep track of our kids without even letting them know about it if we are so inclined.  Remember, sneaky parents are better parents.  We also have the kindle, which can cram a whole crap load of books in one easy to carry device, saving our backs and all that time we used to spend on searching for the book we want.   But, most of all technology has given us the internet, the strongest tool of all in my estimation.  For parents, the net is almost invaluable in its ability to be helpful.  There is just so much information to be had that it is unbelievable.  You can even use the net as a resource to tutor your child should they be struggling with a subject in school.  

So, I am willing to admit that I might have been a little wrong on last Friday's post.  Technology is awesome, and we all use it to succeed.  In fact we need it succeed.

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