Saturday, March 15, 2014

Technology Buffs

Don't let your kid play with your technology, even if you know they aren't old enough to know how it really works.

While Skyping with my parents, Little Bro managed to bat-bat-scratch the laptop keys and flip the screen orientation sideways. It took my computer scientist husband a while to figure out how to fix it (it's Ctrl+Alt+up arrow). I'm glad we solved it, because I was beginning to wonder if I'd have to lie down to use the computer. Kind of frustrating when you feel you're pretty good with computers and yet you've been had by a 1-year-old.

Then last summer, we were headed on a mini-road trip to a neighbouring town. I prepared to set the GPS, and this happened:

click to enlarge

We discovered that Big Bro had set our preferences to "shortest route" instead of "fastest route", so we were on a course down the most remote gravel roads ever. It felt like some kind of horror movie. (The scariest part would've been hungry kids and our not having packed anything to eat for what was supposed to be a half-hour drive. Desperate parent caught pilfering from cornfield in middle of nowhere...)

How did he make all those changes? Some of them, I wasn't even aware one could do. Big Bro's fiddling managed to set it so the GPS moos every time you pass a beauty salon. It's like it's giving me a hint or something.

They can mess up your stuff, but they do it with flair. It's amazing what one can accomplish from just some random button-poking. I've seen friends' toddlers post to Facebook-- or so I assume, unless my friend felt like sharing a capital D with all of us that one time.

I also know there are toddlers who are already proficient with iPads and the like. Big Bro at least knows how to find and play the "Car Game" on my phone. In my day, it was a Fisher-Price record player. (Do I sound like an old lady? Well, it feels that way sometimes...)

Our family has never been one of those "have the latest gadget" people, so I'm not always up on what there is out there. But I know that, soon enough, the kids will be able to manage our technology and do these things, and more-- on purpose this time-- so I guess I'd better try to keep up. At least for now I can try to get the GPS to stop mooing at me.


  1. The sideways orientation thing happened to me too! They should probably make it harder to do something that nobody would ever want to do...

    Speaking of technology in our day, I'm pretty sure the iPad was modeled on the Speak 'n Spell.

    1. Ah yes, the Speak n' Spell. Some of my school friends had that, and I thought it was so cool. And the Commodore 64.

      We did have a Texas Instruments computer when I was a bit older, too, and I'd write little programs that would tell my brother "You stink!". Har har. Now that I think of it, I was a tech-savvy kid too. At least for the '80s.

  2. Hee hee hee...I did not even know a GPS could moo. Hilarious!