How to strike fear into the heart of an almost teenage girl…temporarily cut her off from her wired (and, mostly wireless) world.
I created more than the usual amount of stress in the house last week when I moved the computer server – and domestic internet access – to my new office.
Apparently, kids these days spend a lot of time on Facebook and some fancy app that allows them to text each other on their ipods without using their cell phones (this saves money!) or have Facetime calls (video conferencing) with their friends – but not tell me they’re on a call – so I walk in and start asking them to do their chores and they’re grinning at me because they’re friends are listening to my ineffective and one-sided requests for assistance.
We, as parents, don’t stand a chance.
So, the strategy was: Let’s see how they do without the technology. I disconnected the interweb, packed up the server (the UPS is extremely heavy) and carted a bunch of expensive, shiny things, with cables dangling like a half-ton truck that’s driven through a wheat field in August, to my office.
And, it was instant trauma, instant drama and instant isolation. Apparently, they’ve forgotten how to use the phone.
“Dad, can you bring the internet back home” asked the younger one.
“Hmmm” I thought, “they’re not as smart as they think.”
Every room in the house is hard wired with Cat5e for data and phone and co-ax for TV, and they don’t even know it. My wife knows it, though, and she reminds me all the time, because we were supposed to spend the money on windows but, uuhhh, I spent it on wiring.
So I called up KSP Technology and Wes came over to connect the internet. After Wes greeted Lola, our chief morale officer, he headed for the ‘server room’ where the server used to be installed between the water softener and the water heater. Wes was very pleased that the server had a new home with less water devices in the neighborhood.
He looked at my wiring and it was OK, and in about ten seconds said “I’ve figured out your problem. You need a new DNS something or other.” I nodded respectfully as if I understood, but was most happy that my wires weren’t crossed.
Wes had us up and running in a couple of minutes. “Always hire an expert” I reminded myself.
Amidst the negative stress, moving out was positive stress for everyone – no more trombone practice or dog barking while I’m trying to negotiate a million dollar financing package with a banker. No more pleading with a pre-teen over the merits of doing their paid job and emptying the office garbage and recycling before they do their homework, practice piano, or start watching Miley reruns for the fifth time. No more “Dad, can I borrow your scissors because I can’t find mine” while I’m on a Skype call to Australia.
And, the next time I want something done by these talented and intelligent kids, I’m just going to pull one yellow wire out of the modem, and I’ll have all the attention and motivation needed to launch a couple of pre-teens into orbit.
Age and experience will trump youth and enthusiasm every time!
Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych