I am fairly certain I could rule the world with my iPhone.
From scheduling play dates, to managing Hubby’s schedule, to counting calories (not cake calories, mind you), to connecting with my friends, my iPhone is my right hand man. From my kitchen, I can arrange food delivery for a bereaved friend, tweet to Ellen DeGeneres (Hey Ellen, call me, m’kay?), play a game with my BFF who is two hours away (your move, BTW) and answer a PTA email. All in my jammies and all before 8 am. I can get a reminder that today is Picture Day at school (quick, change that shirt!) and I can tell you with accuracy what the temperature it will be for the entire day (put a sweater on with that outfit for Picture Day!).
Recently, after a play date, my girlfriend discovered that her battery in her car was dead and she needed to use jumper cables. Neither of us ever having done so, we whipped out our smart phones in my driveway, used “The Google”, looked up instructions and voila, car restored. And, we did this all with five children running around in the yard and without having to talk to an actual person other than ourselves. We even considered taking on an engine rebuild with our new found jumper cable skills. “The Google” instructions were much too complicated, though, so we opted for telling everyone we know that we are now experienced mechanics, thanks to our smart phones.
All of the above makes me wonder: how did moms do all of this BEFORE smart phones, emails and texts? Do you know how many emails I receive to my inbox just to plan a class party? Approximately 426. What did room moms DO back in the day? Did they actually, *gasp*, make phone calls to every parent to ask for supplies/cupcakes? How did moms know where their kids were? How did they vote for American Idol?!
Like most of you, I grew up in the generation where phones were attached to the wall with a cord and in order to have a private conversation you had to stretch the phone as far as it would go to the “privacy nook” created between the dining room and kitchen. My house didn’t get an answering machine until I was in high school and messages were scribbled on a “While You Were Out” pad by the phone. And our computer? Well, let’s just say Steve Jobs really did our world a solid when he created his little Apple company (no disrespect, Radio Shack, but, really?).
Even without the technology we have today, somehow, moms managed to put on class parties, arrange field trips, play dates and keep track of all of their kids. I have memories of Halloween parades, field trips to Philadelphia, and of soccer practice that I always made it to on time. My mom was the cookie mom for our Girl Scout troop and dealt with hundreds of boxes of cookies delivered to our garage with nothing more than a pencil, an order sheet and the phone attached to the wall. Somehow, our moms managed to be amazing without tech support and the only apples they worried about were the ones in our lunch boxes. Somehow, things just got done. But, seriously: they really actually CALLED all the parents on the phone? And had a real conversation? Huh.
So it begs the question: does my smart phone make me more awesome or does it make me less connected to my community? When was the last time I had an actual chat with one of the moms in my daughter’s classroom? When was the last time I picked up the phone to call my son’s teacher to offer to send in a snack for a party rather than just hurriedly answering an email while watching track practice while already composing a text to my husband at the same time? Uhm, the twelve of never was the last time that happened in my world.
Of course, technology is here to stay and we have to change with the times. And, truth be told, I’m not willing to give up the luxury of total world domination in my kitchen any time soon. But, I do, from time to time, think back to a time when moms were an actual voice in the phone and I raise my coffee cup to the mom who had to make 19 phone calls on a Tuesday night in order to plan a special Spring Party for a room of 1st graders. And, next year, when I have Girl Scout cookies delivered to my dining room, I know a certain mom who will smile to herself when I pull out my smart phone and think to herself, “She has no idea…”