Friday, 8 June 2012

Parents Using Technology

Mum sent me this picture of myself as little kidlet- now she has an iPhone she is wild for phone photography and emailing and picture messaging and 'the wi-fi' etc. She's gone totally 21st Century on me.

Talking about centuries- It looks like I'm from the 19th century here, but I assure you that this picture was taken in 1984. The weird thing is, so much of this photo (apart from the technology of taking coloured photographs and elastic thread in socks) could have come from another era. Mum cut my hair, sewed and smocked my dress, cooked on a slow combustion stove- after cutting the wood for it herself. Dad probably made my shoes- hard to say on that one, but go with me here. She probably belted me* with a belt she hand made after tanning the hide and forging the buckle herself, once she saw the mess I had made though. (*it would have been more of a 'chasing me around and threatening me with a belt while I held my bottom and screamed at the idea of being hit'. She wasn't one for corporal punishment, which was good because I wasn't much for it either. Nimble and quick though, that's for sure.)

When I look at my parenting of Hunter, I've basically done nothing but shop. How the hell did women living in the 19th century find any time to raise their kids between the hand washing of garments, and the hand sewing, and the baking and the cleaning and the walking to the shops and carrying home again and then going back in another two days because all the ice in your ice box had melted and the meat was turning bad?

In my defense I learned all about technology as it was being invented, and then taught my parents- something not too many generations can say. In the past knowledge was handed down, not force fed up the chain of command. Programming the VCR, taping from the radio, connecting the record player and CD player up to the same amplifier, faxing, computing, scanning, texting, digital cameras- at one time these very straightforward acts were as foreign to my parents generation as hand sewing a crinoline is to mine. My mother thinks it very space age of me to intuitively know how to work all these new fangled devices. Simple acts that, without instruction, she finds as difficult as herding cats.

Technology has brought us so much spare time, even as we sit here on the internet wasting it away. On the plus side it lets my mum iMessage me to let me know what she drank, ate and listened to while at the beach, lets my girlfriend message me to let me know that she thinks the blonde girl on The Block (Guilty Secret- I fell in love with it last year when Lee was stuck on the couch with a snapped up leg, and found it that it was on this year and so have been tuning in to see it like, five nights a week at least) is a useless mole responsible for reversing over a hundred years of positive "girls can do anything" feminist action into a weak wristed slap on the face, and lets a complete stranger show me what a tough job being an Astronomical Image Enhancement Engineer is- a job that would never have even been imagined in ye olde days of crinoline sewing and meat safes et al. What a wonderful predicament to be in.

Space cats and sooty children,
Sandi D

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