Monday, August 18, 2014

I Would Make a Bad Teenager

I am a fake.  A sham.  A charlatan.  To my credit, I'm a pretty good faker, but I am not the genuine article, the real deal.

If you looked at my tech footprint, you would think I am a reasonably tech-savvy guy.  I have a personal iPad and one from my school and I use both.  I have a Bluetooth keyboard, a Bluetooth speaker, and an iPhone.  At school I have a desktop computer, and at home we have a laptop.  I have e-books on both my tablets, on my phone, and on my Kindle.  I store a lot of music on my phone.

As for my web presence, I maintain a personal website, a business website, and a website for my classes.  I host three different Twitter accounts and three blogs.  I am on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  I check three different email accounts multiple times per day.  Colleagues laugh when I post pictures almost faster than I take them.

Yet for all that, I would make a terrible teenager.  For you see, none of that activity and none of those tools are my first thought or choice.

I noticed this when I recently spoke to a class of student teachers at Ball State University.  I had tweeted about the activity prior to speaking and thought I would get some pictures to tweet from the event.  Yet as I sat in the parking lot responding to tweets from new followers, I realized I had forgotten to take any pictures.  Why was that?  After my talk I was engaged in several conversations with undergraduate education majors.  I spoke with faculty from the school of education.  In all of that I was focused on the person in front of me.  I simply forgot about the cyber world.  I was captivated by the human-to-human conversation at hand.  It just never occurred to me to take out my phone.

I doubt that a teenager would have had to think of it at all.  It would have been as natural as breathing.  While I do wish I could have had some pictures from the event, I am rather pleased by this particular example of forgetfulness.  It shows me that while I use the tools of the age in which I live, I have not completely forgotten the ultimate purpose for why I use them.

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