In the two years before I became a mom, I shed my corporate work, taught English as a Second Language to lovely housewives and, at home, I nested. It was a very low-key time in my life. It was also a time when communication technology began to boom and change at warp speed. But I didn’t know. I was transitioning to happy-homemaker-dom. I had a little four-pound cell phone, and I was happy.
During my daughter’s first two years, I stayed home and wore out the knees of all my jeans, clambering around the floor in low-tech bliss. Then we joined a parent-tot class and I rejoined American culture. Many of the moms, who were younger than I, talked about things I knew nothing about – computer programs, websites, even smart toys! They had mobile phones that they took photos on and even typed on.
I struck out to learn about these curious phones and then found my chance to use the other moms’ whippersnapper lingo. When a mom fidgeted with some gadget on her belt loop, I asked her if that was a Blueberry.
"You mean Blackberry?" someone said, butting in.
"Heh, heh, heh," I replied. "Right. Is that a Blackberry?"
"No," she said, smiling charitably. Then, in a half-whisper, she added, "It’s my insulin pump."
I had a lot to learn.
I’ve been doing pretty well. I bought a 2nd generation iPod back around 2005 and used it all the time, though it’s a little annoying when the earphone lines get tangled up in my reading glasses chain.
This May, I got an iPhone and joined the world of texters! A few weeks ago I finally broke the chains that bound me to the 1980s – I traded in my VHS tapes for a DVR!
But I still make mistakes. To solve the cable/glass chain problem with my iPhone, I recently bought a cheap wireless Bluetooth ear bud thingy, only to learn that it’s just for phone use. I can’t hear my audiobooks on it while I walk the dog (and get his leash tangled in the iPhone cord!). Still learning.
But it’s not really such a big deal when it comes to consumer products. The scary part is, once my kids are a little older, will I ever get a full-time job again?
Recently I started thinking about it. I used my little pink netbook to search for jobs on the web (see? I’m not hopeless!). Problem was, when I found jobs that required the skills I have, they also expected skills that seemed to be in some western Martian language. For example, one job for a writer wanted a writer with experience in Facebook, Blog, Twitter, YouTube and an understanding of metrics, analytics and optimization.
Does that mean they want someone who can click "Like" on Johnny Depp’s Facebook page?
I’m guessing that’s not quite sufficient.
So I think I have a little work to do before I hit the job market again. The good news is my older daughter is almost 10. That means she’s just about old enough to teach me all the technical stuff I need to know.