A blog by Lori Lyons

Monday, April 14, 2014

Girl talk

An original illustration by Lora Leigh.

I was standing in my kitchen the other day working on dinner when my daughter brought a new friend in to say hello.

She isn't one of my daughter's classmates, not one of the kids who rides the same bus. She doesn't even live in our neighborhood. In fact, she doesn't live in our state.

My daughter's new friend Sydney lives somewhere in Ohio and she came into my kitchen last week via Facetime on my daughter's iPhone.

Isn't technology amazing?

Lora and Sydney, who met through a mutual friend, have been talking for weeks (which may explain our many data overages recently). I don't know what all they talk about. I think they mostly watch reruns of "The Office" together, but I know Lora has given Sydney a complete tour of our house and both our front and back yards. And Sydney recently took Lora on a little trip to New York with her choir group.

And let me assure you that I have done my due diligence as a mom. My daughter knows not to give her full name or address to anyone she meets on the Internet. And we are reasonably sure that Sydney is not really some 65-year old pedophile from New Jersey. I did speak to the girl on Facetime and see her actually moving. Still, when Sydney offered to send Lora a souvenir from her trip to New York, we told Lora to have her mail it to her dad's school instead of our house, just because.

Isn't modern technology scary?

But it's also pretty cool. My kid got to have a friend over to watch TV with and I didn't have to feed her.

Actually, this is the thing these days. While Lora has had the obligatory slumber party or two for birthdays and whatnot, most of the time she and her friends just hang out on Skype, or one of the many alternatives now available on their laptops and tablets. Because they all like to draw, they like to use the "Share Screen" feature, which allows them to show each other their creations. They can even watch TV and movies -- together. I often hear them giggling and laughing with each other from my daughter's room.

Now, as a mom, there is much to like about this new fangled trend:
One:  I don't have to feed them.
Two: I don't have to clean up after them.
Three: I don't have to stay up all night with them.
Four: There's much less drama when girls aren't all in the same room. Fewer feelings get hurt.

Give me a few more minutes and I'm sure I could come up with a couple more, but you get the idea.

Isn't technology awesome?

It is! Why, just the other night I realized that I had carried my weary body up the stairs and crawled into my bed without stopping in my daughter's room to say goodnight! So what's a weary mom to do? Why, she Facetimes her teen-with-an-iPhone! That's what she does! I really did. I called her and told her I loved her and wished her good night and made silly faces. I even let her dad say good night.

She was duly mortified. (Winning!)

But wait. She's going to be dating someday, isn't she? Boys have computers and cell phones and Facetime too, don't they? Someday, I'm going to walk in her room and there will be a BOY in there. Won't there? How exactly do you chase a boy out of your daughter's room when he isn't really there? Or, she could bring him to "meet" me when I've just gotten out of the shower or something. That wouldn't be good either.

Isn't technology terrifying?


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