Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Computer Age

All throughout history there are stories of the older generation not understanding the younger generation. In the sixties it was rock and roll that baffled and confused the elders. What was this noise, this rebellious sound that echoed like a cry of freedom that streamed from every muscle -car window and high school gymnasium? Today the stange new language is quieter but no less foreign. Instead of screaming, "turn that racket down" parents today seem to be saying "turn that computer off!". Our children have become glazed over like zombies living in a virtual world, playing games where they live out virtual lives and communicating with people they have never seen and having virtual relationships. My teenage son speaks to me in a language that I cannot decode. OMG, LOL, etc etc. He speaks not only the language of text messaging but the language of his obsession the World of Warcraft this foreign chatter invades our dinner table conversation. "Hey Mom, I respecked today!" "My boomkin is beast!" "My level 87 tank was nerfed!" What in the world? How could I possible connect with this creature who lives in a world entirely separate from me. Tonight after many days of the kids asking if they could roast marshmallows out in the fire pit I agreed. The spring zephyrs all week have made that impossible until today. I figured they would be excited. Finally some time to hang out on my only night off after a beautiful spring day. A clear cool spring evening to go out and sit by the fire. Not so! I get "Hey Mom can we do the fire now?" At 3:30pm? Why I ask. The response, "I am meeting my guild in a dungeon at 7pm and I can't be late!" The virutal world apparently has deadlines. It has schedules and time lines and appointments. Now after living many years in the real world I can say that if I was choosing to escape into a virtual fantasy world night after night it would not be one with deadlines, schedules and demands upon my precious spare time. Nor would it take me from the joy of spending what few free moments I have with the family I work so hard for. So in an effort to connect with my child, I have disconnected the keyboard.

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