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High Tech Teens

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“Hey mom, can I buy myself a razor?” Geesh, the kid is actually kind of shaving every couple weeks, and he has a Gillette Mach 3. “You don’t need a whole new razor, I’ll just buy you some new blades.” “No, I mean a RAZR cell phone.” Uh, right. This whole cell phone thing has truly revolutionized the way that this generation communicates. Back in another life, I did technology briefings to executives from Fortune 50 companies. One day we had the CEO of Motorola in. He showed us this device about the size of a women’s shoe. It was black and clunky, kind of like a Doc Maarten. He explained that it was a new technology his company was working on. It was a telephone that you could use from your car! Very space age! “We think it might really catch on,” he said. Doubtful, I thought. I bought Microsoft stock instead. So Alex has a friend who lives up the street. She calls him yesterday to ask what kind of battery he has in his cell phone. Long story short, her battery died, she couldn’t find her charger and she wanted to use Alex’s phone to recharge her battery. “Dude, I’ve been text-ing all day, and I really need my phone tomorrow”, she told him. For what, I wondered? So you can send messages to your friends instead focusing on math lessons? So she drops off her battery and tells Alex she’ll call him on his cell phone in an hour to come pick it up. Good plan, right? Alex and I go out and she calls him to say she’s on her way over to get her phone. Alex says OK and hangs up. So I gotta ask, “Is that her battery in your phone?” “No, her battery is on my desk.” “Being charged?” “Uh, no.” “Do you think you might tell her it’s not charged?” “Uh, probably.” So he calls her from his cell phone to give her the news. She’s kind of incredulous that her battery is not charged yet. Slowly, it’s kind of dawning on them that they didn’t really think this plan through. It was very amusing to watch the little light bulbs go off as they realize it’s kind of hard to call someone on their cell phone if it’s supposed to be at home charging your battery. It was a classic teenage moment. I chuckled all night. And it makes me wonder if they realize that technology doesn’t just happen. That somebody needs to write programs for all the stuff they take for granted. That the geeks that are paying attention in math class will truly define their future. Too bad I sold the Microsoft stock.