Getting Social

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten
We bought the girls smartphones, albeit the cheapest ones possible, for their thirteenth birthday. This was not a gift I took lightly. In order to get the smartphones the girls had to demonstrate their responability by keeping their previous phones, simple cheap flip phones, charged and undamaged for a year.IMG_2322

They also had to agree to use limits (always turned into us at bedtime), and to “friend” us on their social networks.

So, far it’s gone very well. They, of course, have turned into text monkeys who can spend 3 hours exchange 250 one word texts with their friends, but they also text us at random times during the day to tell us funny jokes, share their day or just say I love you.

When the girls started, chatting with me about funny cat pictures and showing my husband Star Wars memes they found on Instagram he suddenly felt left out. This is a man who until now had no electronic footprint; he didn’t Facebook, never joined Linkedin and had no hits on Google.

Sure, he used his smartphone to get directions, order Chinese food, read car mags, and download Star Wars wallpaper, but that’s it. Then the girls started showing him funny Star Wars memes on instagram and cool projects on pintrest.

All of a sudden, he wanted in. One night he sat down had the girls explain to him how the networks worked and off he went pinning and graming.

I love, love, love hearing the three of them discussing a funny meme they shared or seeing the pictures of them raking leaves. I also get a huge kick out of my husband telling me someone repinned his Star Wars pin or so, and so is now following him.

Now if only I could get him to accept my friend request on Facebook.

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8 Responses to Getting Social

  1. Nancy Jardine says:

    Jennifer- that’s a lovely achievement that your girls have had. Having two daughters close in age, I remember the time when it became ‘uncool’ to interact with their dad and the only thing that seemed to keep them engaged at the early teens stages was computer games he’d specially got for them – and for us all to play. This was the early 1990s and PCs were still a bit basic. We had one fantastic game called ‘The Seventh Guest’. Only one person could log on at at time (one computer in the house) but we were on a challenge to see who could get to the next stages first. It was a tough game that took loads of puzzling out but it was something that ‘bound’ us. 🙂

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  2. Doris says:

    I’m still smiling at the picture of your husband and daughters sharing. Priceless. Doris

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  3. Wranglers says:

    Funny. Welcome to today’s world. I remember the decisions my kids went through to get their kids cell phones. My husband uses his Smart phone for directions and to play games. Cher’ley

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  4. What a nice post. So many people fail to recognize it when their children are responsible and do well. It’s encouraging to hear you talk about your family and children. This message hits home to me in a big way. Of course, I have an iPad, iPod, and a Mac Book Pro. I’ve learned most of the things on them by educating myself with self-help books and a seminar or two. I love them all for different reasons. Enter my husband. He has had a cell phone for years, but the very basic flip phone. I’ve had to show him how to enter contacts, etc. Then he wanted a laptop. We bought one for him and suddenly he was filling my time with questions on how to do this or that. We enjoyed the time together, and honestly, it brought back things on Windows that I’d forgotten. When I upgraded my smartphone he just happened to tag along. He salivated over a tablet (because it was bigger than mine) and we bought it for him. He has now become quite adept at finding websites, searching, managing iTunes, taking pictures and a lot more. Occasionally he asks for help, but not often. We often remark on kids today who are taught computer skills in school at an early age. They all know more than we do, that’s for certain, but think about it. We can always call a granddaughter when we get stuck! Sounds like your husband and kids are having a great time. Does your husband know how to accept a friend request? Methinks maybe he’s found a new skill he doesn’t want to share. Give him time. He’ll get around to friending you sooner or later. Good luck!

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  5. I remember hearing on the news several years ago about a father who smashed his daughter’s cell phone because she ran up a huge texting bill. This way, it seems like you should be able to avoid that.

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  6. sstamm625 says:

    Fun post, Jennifer! It sounds like they are having a great time–and it’s fun to hear that your husband has gotten into it too now. I love your last line about FB!

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  7. Entertaining and sweet post, Jennifer! I don’t have a smartphone so I’m not sure what much of the stuff is you’re talking about … but I do Facebook and I’m happy to be your friend and blog post follower! 🙂

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  8. A sweet and informative post. Modern social media gives us a chance to be seen and heard when we might not have been before. Plus it’s great for staying in touch with far away friends and relatives!

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