My sixteen year old daughter had to show me how to use the computer I've had for over six months now, but have yet to figure out how to open the Paint program and save a picture. I used to be the one floating around an office showing everyone how to use their computers, finding the shortcuts and fixing software issues. I used to be the knowledgeable one.
I don't understand music anymore. It all seems to be repetitive and annoying noise. There are about seven words total in songs now and they say them over, and over, and over, and over to a beat that you can never quite get out of your head. And somehow, it goes double platinum in a week. I used to love music.
I read through the Entertainment news and I do not recognize over half of the people's names. And it isn't like once I read the article it jogs my memory and then I figure it out. I literally have no clue who these people are, what they do, where they came from, or why they are so important to the general public. As far as I can tell it's just a bunch of rich people with rich people problems that I will never be able to relate to. It must be tough being a bazillionaire!
People fight with their words over Twitter and Facebook. They don't even have real conversations anymore. On the rare occasion they do, it's never even actually in person. I stopped using Facebook altogether recently. I don't want to see my friends and family that way anymore. If I want to see my friends and family then I am going to get in my car and go see my friends and family. Or pick up a telephone and actually speak to them. Life is a lot less dramatic not being tied to the computer for hours looking at statuses and pictures that somehow inevitably made me sad or upset for one reason or another. Why was I ever volunteering to put every one of my thoughts and actions out there for the world anyway? No one really cared. I don't need accolades just because I made chicken for dinner. I hated all the normal healthy people anyway. It just reinforced my limitations. (I do miss funny cat pictures.)
I think all this technology is crazy. My daughter barely looks up from her phone no matter what she's doing. Her ear buds are rarely out of her ears - even when she sleeps. The poor girl has no concept of what having an actual conversation with real talking is all about. She has even taken to texting me answers when I ask her questions. My daughter has something like 20,000 followers on Twitter - which I hate. She has at least 1,000 "friends" on Facebook that she never even talks to. She SnapChats - I don't even know what that is exactly. She's in full teenager mode now and I'm over here unable to use my own computer, trying desperately to navigate Instagram and Pinterest just so I can find a new healthy recipe to try for dinner.
Maybe I'm a bad mother. You would think it would be easy to just tell my kid to unplug, but really, it's not. This is the world now. This is how we are being programmed to function. These are teenagers today. My daughter doesn't even get school off because of bad winter weather. I used to get snow days. Stay home, sleep late, go outside and play in the snow and worry about school the next day - or the next if the weather was really bad. It was great. If the weather is bad now, she has to get up, log on to her computer and have class that way.
But this really isn't a post about how I don't like what's going on in the world and how I hate the fact that my daughter isn't a nine year old appeased by Littlest Pet Shop toys anymore. It's a post about change. I've changed. My tastes have changed. My outlook has changed. I don't know when it happened, but it has. I feel as if I am looking at the world completely differently now. Through older, more experienced eyes.
Next month I will be 40 years old. I remember when my mother turned 40. I remember dreaming about what things would be like when I turned 40. I have to say - it's not at all like expected. I never thought I would be interested in things like better financial management, GMO friendly foods, and historical documentaries. I also never thought I would be so sick and unable to work at only 40. It was more of a fear considering my father died when he was only 42. I feel I've grown though. I came from a place where I thought I already knew everything I'd ever need to know. Now, I'm in a place where I am certain I don't know anything. Especially since I am trying to raise a teenager. And for the first time in my life I feel like an adult.
I hate it.