I was in a good mood this morning: in such a good mood, in fact, that I posted, "I feel like "liking" everything" as a status update to Facebook. (Okay, I admit. It's not the most inspired thing I've written. But when you're in a really good mood, you don't stop to play editor, now do you?)
I didn't think anything of my update once I posted it. I simply went on with my (deliciously awesome) day. But then I received a text message from one of my kids that started off like this:
"Since Facebook says you're in a good mood..."
You have to understand that this particular kid is our resident tech genius. Why wouldn't he rely on technology to read my mood (and then use that information to his advantage)? We used to try to read our parents' moods too, remember? (Imagine how amazing it would have been to have a tool to do the analyzing for us.)
It turns out that technology also provides our kids with valuable feedback about themselves. When I mentioned to my son that he was talking too quickly, he responded by citing his Starcraft actions-per-minute metre. (Apparently he plays the game as quickly as he talks.)
Back when I was a kid, articles about the future of computers emphasized practical functions: how the home computer of the future would take inventory of the contents of your refrigerator and freezer. The articles didn't talk about how computers would revolutionize the way we communicate with one another and think about ourselves. That's where the real revolution has occurred -- and it's mostly been for the better, I believe.
There are so many ways I can communicate with each of my kids that it's difficult for us to have a total communication breakdown, even on days when one or the other of us is feeling frustrated. A one-word text message or impromptu photo with a note in the subject line can help to resolve a parent-teen impasse. I am grateful to have these tools available to me today. How did previous generations of parents ever live without them?