This is a throwback to last year;
I was watching TV with my oldest son when I heard the familiar jingle of an email on my phone, or my smartwatch, or both. It was a client – as usual – after hours, wanting a quick response. I ran downstairs and told him to finish his snack. After firing off a few (not particularly) urgent email replies, I went back upstairs to find him sitting on the couch, watching Harold and the Purple Crayon. He looks at me from the couch and says “this is my FAVOURITE, daddy!”. The slow realization that he switched the input on the TV, opened up Netflix on his iPad, and used the Chromecast all by himself hits me … this is about the extent of what my wife, parents, and in-laws know about technology. He’s 4.
Mic drop, walk away, my job is done.
You all know what I’m talking about, parents and technology. It’s been around for the better part of three decades, but when did they start to learn about computers? Oh, about the past 5 years – or less. It’s a stigma, and it means learning something new, and being afraid of not being good at it. My Mum has been quite good at it – she had to use computers all the time while working in a high school. Hand her a new iPhone and a tablet and she picks up on it pretty quickly. It’s intuitive though, they make it easier for a reason. Explaining over the phone how to switch inputs to their fancy blu-ray player and getting the sound system to work is the hard part – but I guess that’s what we have a four year old for.
Here, I’ll just send him over, he’ll do it for you! (only half joking).
That day. When you’re in a really important meeting and you realize you have dried drool on your shoulder, and don’t even know it. Then when you’re on your way home you realize “That’s how they knew I have kids!”. When this happens multiple times, including having a soother pop out of your laptop bag, and cheerios in your pocket. “I .. don’t know how that got in there…!”, I say, before realizing this is not the corporate world, and I don’t have to wear a suit and tie to a cubicle every day. #lovemyjob
(Luckily, this is a great ice breaker, and when I start to gush about how our oldest starts Kindergarten, and our youngest is walking and talking, I go from being “that computer guy” to being a personable programmer – with a smartphone full of videos and pictures – want to see him eating? Shaking his head? Blabbering about nothing? I’m that parent!)