Posts Tagged ‘IPhone’


October 12, 2012 4 comments

The small, benign, white box arrived with a knock and a wink from the postman. It looked harmless enough.

Yet it caused a firestorm of bouncing activity from my children. “Open it! Open it!” they screamed in unison, and I promised I would, if they would only come down from the rafters. “Aren’t you excited?’ my daughter asked me, once she was floor bound. I warily told her this little box was about to cause me a whole world of pain and frustration, so no, I wasn’t.

From their perspective, these innocent babes, all you needed to do was turn it on and begin enjoying your new iPhone 5, gaze at its vivid images, marvel at its lightness, and then download every gaming app known this side of Silicon Valley. If only. The seasoned veteran within me knew that opening this was akin to Pandora opening her box and unleashing evil on the world. That is if you equate evil with many hours of wrestling with technology, as I do.

Among my many hats I wear, the one I like almost as little as digging mold out of the seam of the kitchen sink is that of the Chief Technical Officer. I deftly donned it, brim at the back, before finding a knife to slice open the plastic that was tightly wound around the source of my future angst.

In this department, the angst one, that is, it has not disappointed. In the last week I have been to the local Rogers store for a new SIM card, since the one they had sent couldn’t be read. I went to the Apple store after my emails were not downloading, and they fixed it by doing a hard reset.

All before I had tried to sync it with my desktop computer. Cue the pain.

The whole point of getting this iPhone was to have my calendar on hand at all times. But because my desktop is ancient, being from 2007, they told me I have to upgrade my operating system in order to reap the benefits of iCloud. I pursed my lips and thought about the last time I upgraded my operating system, and about how my printer has never worked the same since. Oh no, they assured me, Lion is nothing like Leopard, it will be much smoother! Easy as pie.

I hit the ‘purchase’ button, and then spent the rest of the day fixing everything I cursed in that flash moment. My emails are organized poorly, my calendar is not as vibrant and in an inferior font, the music system in our house immediately went quiet, but most importantly, my treasured Microsoft Word, gone. GONE from my dock. I can barely make out the remnants of the W that once stood for ease and happiness in my world, a big circle with a line through it indicating I can no longer access it.

I haven’t tried to print anything yet, I can only handle so much at once.

I’m still in recovery mode, now researching whether I should buy Microsoft office 2011 or if I should buy Apple’s cheaper word equivalent, Pages. Slightly irritated, but still hopeful that this will be the last frontier I must scale before skating down that easy iPhone path promised by so many.

Dear Santa, I would like a laptop, an iTouch, a Nintendo DS….

November 19, 2010 2 comments
A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...

Image via Wikipedia

Halloween is not in the can for a week, and the Christmas crap starts.

Before I have even taken the skeletons and cobwebs (this, in itself, is alarming: Halloween decorations??) to storage and put away the multiples of costumes, the kids have their Christmas lists finished and are asking about their dresses.

Dresses? For one day?

As I’m questioning the necessity of whether they each need a dress they will never wear (Doesn’t last year’s fit? How about something a little nicer than normal that you will actually wear again throughout the year?), I catch a glimpse of my oldest daughter’s list.

The first item is a laptop computer.  And then the cheeky bugger has listed several other items beneath it, since you can’t simply get one gift for Christmas.

Hardly an original thought, but once more, with feeling: have we lost our marbles when it comes to consumerism at Christmas?

I said as much to her.  “But I need it for school! We don’t have enough laptops to go around,” she wailed.

She is eleven.  Whatever happened to the blackboard?  And slates?

I try not to point my finger solely at her – it is the age in which we live.  Also to blame is her peer group, who seem to up the ante on every birthday and occasion. You can’t blame her for trying.  But it seems to get worse every year, the wish list loftier and longer, the price tags higher, the gadgets fancier.

We’ve traded in American Girls (who knew you could spend that much dough on a doll?) for electronics.  A couple of years ago it was the iPod, then the Nintendo DS, then the iTouch.  (The requests for the cell phone have been ignored although her voice gets louder, and I am sad to report she is in the minority of her group of friends who must resort to land lines for calling home – “use your friends cellphone,” I tell her cheerfully.)

When I was her age I was lucky to get a Barbie.  The world, and not just my daughter, has gone mad.  And you either must buck up in order to make their wishes come true, or buck the trend; in which case your name, come Christmas day, will be the Grinch.  Or Scrooge.  Pick your poison.

The answer, of course, is to educate your children about those who have so little at this time of year; let’s help them instead.  We gather necessities and tiny treasures and put them together for families in need in our community.  We deliver bags of food to the Food Bank.  We talk about all the people all over the world who are simply trying to survive each day, let alone play with a new toy.  We do all this until the cows come home.  And yet when tucking them in at night, it’s back to their list.

This is where the tough parenting comes in.  I love my children to the ends of the earth, but it’s my job to teach them that their happiness can’t be bought.  I want them to be joyously happy on Christmas Day, but not because I’ve forked out January’s grocery money on their gift.  I want them to have great friends and feel secure but not because they received what the rest of their friends got during the holiday.  I want them to be thoughtful, loving, caring, empathetic citizens, not greedy, selfish drama queens.

It’s so much easier to say yes than no, but what is that teaching them?  I always did have a soft spot for the Grinch.