Sunday, August 19, 2007

Emoticons in the new world order

There are currently FOUR computers in my home, of the desktop/laptop variety. Each is wireless and online. In addition, there is a wireless receiver on the big-ass plasma tv in the living room, an xbox360 that is online and constantly communicating with xbox live. Jesse has a PSP which is also wireless. That, my friends, is a LOT of technology for one small 4 bedroom, 2 bath house. Sometimes it is awesome, we can all be doing "our thing" and not standing in line. It is great for homework, for instance. But it does tend to keep us all occupied seperately, which can be a little weird. Even when company comes over, we sometimes find ourselves sitting at the idiot boxes, typing away, even messaging one another from 30 feet away. The lure of the internet and the speed and capability of computers is a tough habit to break.
Certainly, we do find time to be a family, and when friends come over, we still do "old-fashioned" stuff, too. We BBQ, bake cookies, play outside, all that. But without a doubt, this wired house beckons us to sit down and get lost in the online world, sometimes to the detriment of the real world.

But there is hope. This morning, Dad has gone to Home Depot (building project, oh my, kids bathroom sprung a leak, rotted the floor, and generally needs updating...BADLY!) Kristin is at work, Ciarra is reading in her room, and Jesse and I are home and awake. Laundry's all done, and well, while Daddy's away the mice like to ;) But it struck me that here was the son I adore, in the next room, tapping away. No doubt, he is building his next Halo 3 website, or learning about HTML coding. The kids a whiz, I tell ya. But there it was, his yahoo messenger name popped up, notifying me he was online. And it sat there at the bottom of my screen, and called to me. "Hey Mom, here I am." Just a little smiley face icon, no words typed. Comforting and disturbing all at once. And so I opened the messenger box and began typing away. No words, at first. Just emoticons. A series of emoticons, meant to say "hello, son, I love you."

michelle harmon (8/19/2007 10:09:57 AM)

Jesse (8/19/2007 10:10:09 AM): ...

michelle harmon (8/19/2007 10:10:14 AM)

Jesse (8/19/2007 10:10:19 AM)

Why sad? I wondered. Of course, being a preteen, I figured he was mostly sad his mom was harrassing him on a quiet Sunday morning. And so, like all moms, I teased him more...

michelle harmon (8/19/2007 10:10:25 AM)

No reply. Hmmm, he isnt used to Yahoo, is he just wondering wth Im doing? Lets ask him. Wordlessly, of course.

michelle harmon (8/19/2007 10:10:52 AM))

Finally, a response!

Jesse (8/19/2007 10:11:04 AM): what are you doing?

Let's start this over again, and see if he gets it...

michelle harmon (8/19/2007 10:11:08 AM) )

michelle harmon (8/19/2007 10:11:12 AM)

And he does. He gets up, walks into my office with a big grin on his face, hands outstretched, questioning but understanding all at once. "What are you doing?" he asks, as he leans in low and plants a kiss on my waiting cheek. "Waiting for this." I reply.

So few words necessary, so much love shown. Maybe emoticons are the wave of the future for conversationally-imapired parent-child relationships? He is back at his computer now, and I am headed to the shower. But he knows that in this technological word, his mom sure does


No comments: