Digital Potty Training

I always remember being in elementary school and discussing the invention of the automobile. When the horseless carriage came to be, there was a tremendous amount of resistance to this new mode of transportation. The stories went that those who had grown up with the horse scoffed at this loud and noisy invention claiming they would never succumb to having to travel in one of these new fangled contraptions. At the time, I thought this was hilarious. How could anyone not want a car? They have become such a part of our lives that no one could imagine what life would be like without them. “Surely that couldn’t happen now.” I had thought to myself. People have obviously evolved to the point to where they can see the benefits of technology rather than fear it. I was wrong.

My parents have been around computers since I was in college. During high school I had begged them to let me purchase an Apple II computer but they both laughed saying that would be a waste of time since this computer thing was merely a fad. By the time I had finished college two years later, they had changed their minds. It would appear computers were here to stay, they just chose to ignore them. Slowly, the computer revolution came about leaving my parents farther and farther behind. My father assumed he would be able to outrun this technology wave and retire before he had to use them. He was wrong. A year ago, the inevitable happened. My parents broke down and purchased a Windows 98-based computer. After 40 years of working in an office, my father was beginning to learn to type. The grandchildren of course found much humor in grandpa hammering the keyboard one finger at a time to type a letter. Before long, the grandchildren had talked my mom and dad into getting an Internet account. I spent countless hours explaining how each aspect of the on-line community worked. I was down to the very basic steps of how to log in, send e-mail and log off. This experience reminded me of trying to potty train Dakota. No matter how careful I was in explaining the process, we still have accidents that can best be described as messy.

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