4? 6, 2018


Okay, okay, I know I?m mixing metaphors or what have you in my title, but you trying living with a Smug Teen.

It?s hard out there when your knowledge of technology reaches its limits with knowing how to program the VCR , being able to turn on and off your computer and being able to send a text. It?s even harder when the prodigy offspring is Smug, Teen, and way more knowledgeable than you in these areas, and loves to rub it in.

I?m sure I wasn?t that bad when I was a teen. I?ll ask Mum. Actually, no, I won?t, because she?ll probably launch into an avalanche of anecdotes about horribly embarrassing things I did from early childhood right up to and probably also including getting married. And, she?ll somehow find someone to do this in front of.

So, I have the new phone. Thanks to the Smug Teen, I can actually send texts on it. And I can even take photos, answer phone calls, and?well, that?s all I can do. Well, could do, until I discovered this amazing youtube channel.


Hey, I?m a parent, alcohol is sometimes a necessity. Although, not around the children. But admit it, there are times when they drive you to drink.


?I?m hopeless at using this smart phone,? I said to my friends. There may have been a tremble in my voice. Being brave is hard. I drew in a deep breath. ?Actually, I?m?I?m hopeless at all forms of technology.?

My friend Fiona, someone I?ve known since high school let forth a weird sound, muffled by her hurried gulp of wine. I gave her a long, slideways look, full of suspicion.


?What?? I said, hand tight on the wine glass stem. ?I?m making a confession here. I?m letting you know my secret . I suck at all things technical.?


?Maddy, we know. It?s not exactly a secret.?

?It?s not?? I mean, okay, I didn?t go around with a copy of whatever computer magazine was popular these days (do ultra tech people buy magazines still? Or do they read them online? Or did they download the information straight to some fancy device?)

?No,? Fiona said, gently pouring me another glass of wine. ?It?s sort of, well, obvious.?

?It is??

?Anyone who in this day and age uses one of those old stone age brick mobile phones that are pretty much prehistoric fossils, and barely understands texting is not going to be a tech-head, in any shape or form.? Fiona settled back.

I narrowed my eyes. Did she have that same air of smugness my child got about her when it came to these things? I took a big sip of the wine. ?I didn?t think it was so obvious.?

?It?isn?t,? said Emma, her gaze flickering away for a moment. ?But, I know what you?re going through. I?m not good at all this stuff, all this new stuff. 推特Facebook,现在这个新的 谷歌+ thing??


?And it?s all on our phones now, more, even. Phones,? Emma said, leaning in, her voice dropping to a serious and low note, ?are not just for calls and texts anymore.?

Fiona nodded. ?This is true.?

?I got this.? I showed them the new phone. The one I was too embarrassed to tell them about for the past two weeks because I had had no idea how to use it. Now, thanks to my beloved Smug Teen, I sort of know how to use it. The basics, anyway. Okay, the barest of the bare basics.


?Look,? Fiona said, ?this is the future. Welcome. And things are going to get more and more advanced. So you better get used to it.?

?But it?s so complicated and space agey.?

?It is 2011. We should be colonizing Mars by now,? Fiona muttered.

?I can text and answer calls and that?s pretty much it. And actually, trying to make calls are complicated. Making a call shouldn?t be complicated. Neither should adding a contact. It?s like I?m being tested to become a neurosurgeon, but I never studied at all.?

?The thing is,? Fiona said, ?Your phone is not a phone anymore. It?s a computer. You need to think of it as a computer. It helps.?


?Here.? Emma jotted something down on a coaster and handed it to me. ?Someone sent this link to me recently. It?s been great with certain things I?ve needed, and I think you?ll love it.?

She?d written down a website. So I agreed I?d look it up if they agreed to not talk about space phones anymore.

So now, I?m sitting at home, waiting for my daughter to get back. And, I know, I know this is really childish of me, but I can?t wait to show her how adept I am at downloading apps (see? Did you see that? It?s like I?m a natural born tech user now?okay, perhaps not natural born, but someone with flair, or, you know, someone who isn?t a complete blathering idiot, crying out for their pen and paper and semaphore flags), IMng, surfing the net.

I?m sure there are other sites similar to the one my friend gave me. And I guess it?s not technically a site, it?s a YouTube channel (do you see how good I?m getting at this?compared to before?).

It?s called O2 大师电视, and for me, it was, and is a revelation. It?s taught me not only how to download apps, but to change settings and do all sorts of things on my phone.

Best of all, I can learn by watching a video, and rewatching, and making notes, and asking the computer really stupid questions that no one hears or mocks. It?s great.

If you click on this following bit (don?t worry, someone put the link in for me, I?m not quite that advanced yet): 大师电视 you?ll be able to go and visit the youtube channel. If you?re the kind of parent I am, one who doesn?t really get technology, then this is for you. Because when we have kids, they use the tech, so we need to be able to use it.

After all, how else are we going to be able to tell people hideously embarrassing stories about our offspring if we don?t understand and participate in the world they live in?


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