Spot the Difference

As I sat on the couch last night and tried to finish up a client ezine, Vista got up from the floor where she was using Bil as a jungle gym, grabbed her ‘laptop’, and climbed up on the couch next to me.

V at photoshoot Spot the DifferencePart of me laughed, but there was a little part of me that was completely horrified. I want her to be two. I want her to play with blocks and barbies. I want her to create with paintbrush not Paint.Net.

So I watched the great interest when Momspotting was launched on BlogHer back in November. I wanted to see how other moms handled technology with their children. I wanted to see how they navigated this digital minefield.

I have to say, I’ve been a bit disappointed so far.

Momspotting has become less about families and technology and more about being in an exclusive group.

It’s easy to find this group of moms. Just do a search on Twitter for the hashtag #momspotting.

Oh, but don’t use it yourself. Oh no. That hash tag is just for this exclusive group. If you use it and they catch you, you will be sent a sternly worded DM or email letting you know that YOU are not a Momspotter and THEY are and YOU can’t use #momspotting because it’s only for THEM.

I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.

I’ve never personally gotten one of these gems myself, but I have several friends who have and have showed me the polite, but stern, ‘you’re not one of us’ notes.

So instead of Momspotting opening a dialogue about how we protect and direct our children in this age of technology, it’s become a marker to denote a closed group. This has been evidenced by more and more of these tweets having nothing to do with technology (and wasn’t that the point?)

I think this was a noble initiative. And it had (and still does have) huge potential. But it needs to be an inclusive conversation starter.

Rather than having these 20 or so moms ‘owning’ this hashtag, why not make them the leaders instead? Let them prompt, coach, and encourage everyone to share their own experiences, their own tips, their own rules around technology and their families.

But by shutting people down when they try to participate and use the #momspotting tag, they’re nullifying a huge part of the effect they could have. People want to be part of a conversation, not just spoken at.

They Don’t Make It Like They Used To

There is so much crap that we buy these days that ends up broken and in the garbage in short order.

My mom still has a ton of the toys I used to have as a child (including my Easy Bake Oven, which amazingly, after over 20 years in storage still works).

I look at Vista’s toys and there are very few that are going to last through her, never mind still being around 30 years from now.

But it’s not just kids stuff either.  Bil and I have burned through our fair share of laptops, routers, and backup drives.  Now a days, if your printer dies it’s cheaper to replace it.  Ditto for some laptops.  That just blows my mind (and my wallet).   I suppose it’s all a ploy to increase consumerism.  But what really surprised me is when I realized that we’ve come to expect it.

flip 242x300 They Dont Make It Like They Used ToWhen we took our unexpected swim in the lake this summer, Bil’s new Flip video camera was in his pocket (I say new… it was a couple months old, but you get the idea).  Needless to say having your video camera sitting in water for 10 – 15 minutes isn’t really healthy for it.  When he got to shore and pulled it out of it out of his pocket and the lake water came pouring out of it, we were sad.  We liked the Flip.  But buying another one just wasn’t in the budget.  We put it aside to dry out in the hopes we might be able to recover some of the videos that were still on it.  We weren’t really optomistic about it, though.  After all, technology and anything wet?  Not such a great mix.

Fast forward a month.  Bil went to a conference last weekend and as he was packing his laptop and camera, he grabbed the Flip.  With a shrug (and for the fun of it) he turned it on.  Not only did it turn on, it still works. AND all the videos we had taken were still there.  We struggled to pick our jaws up off the floor.

That’s right.  After being immersed in water for over 10 minutes our Flip video camera is working perfectly.

They might not make most things like they used to, but I’m sure glad Pure Digital Technologies created a quality product.

**I’m in no way being paid, compensated, or otherwise bribed for this post.  We bought our Flip with our own money and this is just my honest opinions of a great product**

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