So, here I sit, blogging on my iPhone 4s dinosaur, trying to act like it's no biggie that it takes 90 seconds for Facebook to open up, or that my battery lasts approximately 45 minutes before I have to run to an outlet somewhere, trying to act like I don't care what "everyone else is doing". Just an FYI, I'm secretly dying to be like all the other people out there baking their head, impatiently waiting to stick my head right alongside their head in the iPhone 6 oven, assuming the oven is big enough and the temperature is set to low. And I don't even care if the new, problematic iOS8 keeps me from making a call on my "phone" or if I keep my new iPhone 6 in my pocket too long and it bends like a pretzel, it's still an iPhone, right?
If I'm AWEnest, part of my love affair with Steve Jobs and all things Apple is indeed, because "everyone's doing it", but, I truly do love and bow to all things "i" because for someone who is as technologically savvy as the Anti-Steve Jobs, "i" devices are simple and easy. I love my iPhone, iPad and I just recently started a romance with my MacBook Air. So as much as I have a love-hate relationship with my antiquated iPhone 4s, I still love it when my old dinosaur outsmarts Dan's Samsung. "Oh yes, it's quite easy for me to upload this video of our dog chasing his tail to Vine. Your Samsung can't do that?", I ask innocently while gloating inside.
As parents, it is our job to lead our children safely into the age of technology, making them choose the technological path that is right for them without trying to sway them too much to "our side". This is true for most things in the parenting department. Whether it's smart phones, religion, college selection or dating prospects, we parents are suppose to guide, not choose. For example, the main character in the book, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." , Margaret is trying to figure out which religion she belongs to since her mother's family is Christian and her father's family is Jewish. With both families trying to convince Margaret where she belongs, trying to pull her to their "side", Margaret turns to God while trying to figure out her own choices and not letting family influence her.
Clearly, Dan believes I am trying to force Ryan into believing in the Apple Gods which is why it made perfect sense that I would jump on the iPhone 5c as the ideal 13th birthday gift for Ryan. However, if I'm being AWEnest, it wasn't so much my belief in Steve Jobs that caused me to push Ryan's head in the oven with mine as much as it was my desire to have Ryan "be like everyone else'. It seems that just when I think I have removed Denial from my Favorites on my iPhone, I find myself calling her again and again, "Are you there Denial? It's me, Kate."
Denial assured me that with this new iPhone, Ryan would become more social. After all, it's easier to socialize via texts, tweets, and posts. Yet Ryan's iPhone has remained on his dresser for most of a month, with Siri begging for something to do. The iPod Touch, is still Ryan's go to, the iPhone, which "every kid" would love to have, sits on his dresser collecting dust. It didn't help that the original iPhone 5c we bought Ryan had a glitch and it deleted all of Ryan's overpriced data in 48 hours and put the fear of God and Verizon Overage Charges in my boy's psyche, but, mostly, I believe the reason Ryan's iPhone has become a dust collector is because Ryan is more like his dad, not quite ready to stick his head in the oven just because everyone else is doing it, or because good old mom had Siri ring up Denial for me....again.
Needless to say, when you aren't sure how the oven works, or how other people hanging out in the oven with you may respond to your new found place in the oven, it's easy to understand the fear of being burnt. Taking social risks for Ryan, whether it's in the school lunchroom or via a text in the privacy and safety of his bedroom, is scary. Ryan wants his response to be cool, to be "right", to be perfect. Rather than risk getting burnt, much to my dismay, Ryan has decided to keep the oven off and now it's Dan's turn to gloat.
I know it makes perfect sense that I want Ryan to text, tweet, post, and snap like all the other kids his age. And even when Ryan's words, "you know I'm not a real social guy" rang in my head at the Verizon store, I believed in my heart, that the magic of Apple would change all of that, or at the very least, I believed being social on social media, might come more easily for Ryan than being social face to face. Denial tweeted that she believed it too, #letsgetsocial, so of course I proudly retweeted it, right from Ryan's new, white iPhone 5c (that is costing us $50 a month to collect dust).
Just like Margaret had to figure out who she was on her own regardless of the influences of family, peers, and the pressure of growing up, Ryan will find his place regardless of the influence of his dad, his mom, or his mom's BFF, Denial. Whether it's smart phones, religion, school socials, proms, or career choices, Ryan will need our guidance, but, ultimately Ryan will choose. Perhaps Ryan will stick his head in the "everybody's doing it" oven with me, the non-conformist oven with his father, or his very own, yet to be determined, oven.
Regardless of which oven Ryan chooses, he will figure it out his way, in his own time. I just hope that whatever path Ryan embarks upon, he will take loads of photos that he can share with me in iPhoto, send me tons of iMessages to fill me in on what he's up to, and FaceTime me regularly to let me know where he is heading next, so that I can proudly tweet, text, and post from my latest, greatest iPhone, assuming, that I can get my head out of the oven in order to do so.