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Brave New Web

When I first started getting some breathing room after the twins grew out of infancy and into toddlerhood — I gradually returned to the Internet, trying to figure out what I had been missing for the last year or two.

I'm sure it was all there when I left, but for me, the change seemed drastic. As my friend put it, "Welcome to a Brave New World." I signed up for random accounts on sites like MySpace and Facebook, just so I could enter, try and find an old friend or two, and then desert them after feeling like a creepy old lady who had no bizness being around the high-schoolers.

To be honest, I really didn't get it.

Does it scare anyone else to not get it or is it just me? Clearly, we all are somewhat technologically-savvy. We turn on our computers, we gather information, we read/write blogs, we wonder: How did I ever live without email/IM/urbandictionary?

G and I joke that by the time our kids are in high school, they are going to communicate telepathically, with chips that they buy packaged with gum and self-implant into their brains using laser beams and multi-functioning iPods, which will then be called googlePods because you know google and Apple are going to have to merge at some point if they want to take over the world. (Okay. So maybe G and I suffer from overactive — and nerdy — imaginations. Ahem.)

Perhaps I should say, we quasi-joke about this. In all honesty, it scares me. It scares me to know that at some point I'm going to have to let go and not say anything when I don't understand why the hell our kids feel the need to Twitter when they feel the urge to pee coming on (or whatever Twitter is used for; didn't I say I haven't a clue?).

However. However. I've been sucked into Facebook lately. I admit it. I'm officially a creepy old lady. I've been connecting with old friends and new ones (the new ones being friends I've met via blogs; I do draw the line at befriending strangers.).

And damn. I can't tell you why I'm sucked in. I just am. [Can you see me? I'm shrugging sullenly like a teenager. How do I look?]

And I'm also (admittedly) quite fascinated reading everyone's current status. Thankfully no one updates their status when they need to pee, but honestly...my friends are pretty funny. If one of them has a UTI, I might even forgive them for sharing that bit of information with me (and the rest of their friends). And I would still think they are funny. In fact — maybe even funnier.

Still...it doesn't mean I'm no longer worried about falling behind in my kids' brave new world. I try and tell myself that it won't matter — that communication, a solid relationship and respect will trump any technological leaps. But I bet there are many parents out there who have been great and supportive parents, who are now dealing with rebellious teens despite their best efforts and intentions. Does the Internet promote that? Not necessarily. But the Internet can quickly go from being a positive influence to a negative one. And I've read article after article about kids laughing at the computer protection software that parents and schools install. About kids who hack into them easily. And if they can't hack themselves, there is always another kid who can right around the Internet corner.

Technology is changing exponentially. So please share with me how you plan on keeping up. I don't want to be one of those parents on a nighttime news program who is shocked to find out that my kid knows how to get around my uber-protective googlePod lockdown and is now communicating telepathically with some 65-year-old posing as a 16-year-old. I'm going to be able to keep up...Right?

(And realistically, super-poking isn't quite advancing my technological know-how at the rate that I need it to.)

?????

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