Technically Annoying

I’m not a Luddite. I don’t eschew technology. I, by no means, dream of being Wilma Flintstone and using a baby wooly mammoth as a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know a lot about wooly mammoths, but I’m betting they shed worse than any german shepherd and I’m sure not even a case of Gain Febreze would dilute their pre-historic stench.  I embrace technology. Why, I wake up every morning and kiss my phone. What I have trouble with is how technology has turned some parents into total idiots.

I’m not talking about the general daily rudeness of people talking incessantly on their phones anywhere and at anytime. That, I’m sad to say, I’ve gotten used to. I’m almost ready to declare, “I surrender” on social media taking over our lives. Once moms took their obsession in utero, I got my white flag ready. What? You’re kidding me – you haven’t been to a baby shower where the mother-to-be hasn’t made a Facebook page for her fetus?  It’s so 2007 for your unborn child not to already have a Twitter handle? At the last baby shower I attended all the guests were asked to whip out their smart phones and “like” the FB page of the 27 week gestation guest of honor.  The unborn child’s status update was, “Knowing I’m going to love all the great gifts I’m going to get at my baby shower today!”  The profile picture was the most recent sonogram.  The baby also had a Twitter account. The mother was tweeting “for the baby,” during the shower.  After she opened a gift, there she would go, right to her phone, and tweet something about each present. Here’s what she tweeted about mine, “I’m not even here yet, but I already love this super soft blanket.  Mommy could you please put it on your tummy right now?”  (P.S. A Tweet does not replace a thank you note.)

Some of you may think this is just sooo adorable and you’d be wrong.  Wrong, because it’s cloying obnoxious.  Your not yet born child does not need to reach out from the womb and start “liking” Pampers on Facebook and following mommy’s ob/gyn on Twitter.  A pregnant woman should have more loftier concerns then trying to increase her “two month’s away from due date” baby’s FB friends.  One pregnant mom told me her goal was for her baby to have “at least 500 friends before she was even born.” I gently tried to tell her goal should be to get some sleep because that was soon going to be in short supply.  Sleep or Facebook?  What a 21st century maternal conundrum.

Just as I was learning to deal with/disguise my social media irritation every man, woman and child had to go out and get an i Pad.  Did you know the i Pad 2 is the number one requested birthday gift from any child hitting the 12 month mark?  Okay, I made that up, but I did, just last week, attend the first birthday party for a precious boy and he got, you guessed it, an i Pad 2.   His mother remarked that, “He just started using my i Pad so I figured he needed one of his own.”  What did he like best about it using it for teething or slobbering?  That mother’s ridiculous remark was one upped by another mom who contributed that her baby was using an i Pad at four months.  Really, mothers, an i Pad competition? Can’t you just stick to the time-honored tradition of bragging that your child started sleeping through the night when they were only 96 hours old?

Whatever, that whole gift thing is none of my business. What is my business is when parents think their i Pad has super powers like invisibility.  Try enjoying your child’s next band or choir concert when the i Padrent sitting in front of you is hoisting their 7.31 x 9.50 tablet in the air – rendering you blind.  Alert Snarky reader Annie recently commented on this experience. “You get this screen glow and can see them zooming in on their child.  Go ahead and try to look around you can’t. It’s a big, bright light right there in your face.” 

 I’m predicting that before the end of the school year, somewhere in America, there will be a i Padrent throw down.  Two tablet wielding parents will be ready to rumble because one parent’s i Pad 2 blocked the other’s parents i Pad from recording for posterity, Facebook and You Tube their kid singing, My Country Tis of Thee.  I can see the other parents crowding around, forming a circle, chanting, “Fight, fight, fight” as they put their tablets in record mode.

I know what I’m talking about. I got into with a i Padrent last week.  There I was minding my own business (really I was) at the movies.  I had taken my daughter to see Disney’s Arrietty.  The coming attractions had just started when a mom comes in with her two boys.  One looked about 7, the other seemed to be 4.  She pulls two gallon size Ziploc bags from her purse that are stuffed with what I’m guessing, due to the sheer quantity, is left over Halloween, Christmas and Valentine Day’s candy.  She gets her boys settled in the row right in front of us and then leaves. Not the theatre, mind you, but she goes and sits 16 rows in front of her kids.  (Yes, I counted.)  I’m thinking WTH?  What mom doesn’t sit with her young children.  The mystery is solved when she pulls out an i Pad, puts on some huge headphones that resemble what you would wear on an airport tarmac to direct planes to their gate and begins to watch something on her screen.

As you can imagine, the shining beacon that is the i Pad screen can be seen fairly well in a dark movie theatre.  Also, her two boys that are sitting 16 rows behind her are not happy campers.  They’re fighting, using their outdoor voices and when not enjoying kicking seats are standing up in them, presumably to better see their mother.  I wait a good 15 minutes to see if A) The boys settle down and get into the movie or B) Pray that someone, who is not me, will go alert the mother to her children’s distress.  None of the above occurred. Oh sure, other people in the theatre complained to their seat mates about the boys and one grandma kept shushing them, but no one got up.  Tag, I was it.

I get up, walk down to the mother and see she’s watching The Bachelor.  “Good Lord, woman,” I think, The Bachelor.  You’re ruining the movie for everyone in the theatre and ditched your boys so you can watch The Bachelor!” Talk about a cry for help.  I lean over to her and say, “Excuse me, but your two boys seem to be missing you a lot.  You might want to sit with them.”

“Huh?  What?” she says in a peeved voice as she takes off her industrial grade headphones. From the looks of it I’ve interrupted her during one of The Bachelor’s riveting rose ceremonies.  Is she expecting me to apologize or something?  I repeat my previous plea and get another dirty look from her.  To appease me, I guess, she stands up and waves at her boys, but makes no move to go sit with them. So again, I gently advise her to sit with her kids and because I ‘m thinking this mom in spatially challenged add, “You know that i Pad screen is incredibly distracting. If you don’t want people to be bothered by it you could go grab your kids and move to the very back row.”

That really ticks her off and I’m guessing she’s also picked up on the fact that I’m not going back to my seat until she goes to her boys. So she grabs her tote bag, her i Pad, motions to her kids and they mercifully leave the theatre.  When this happens the crowd, or at least, the other parents in the audience applaud.  I’m feeling pretty good about my problem solving abilities until after the movie my daughter and I are getting a drink refill (free with purchase of a large beverage) and we hear people leaving another movie complaining about a mom, two rowdy young boys and an i Pad.  The woman didn’t leave she just switched theaters!   If only I had a cloak of invisibility I would have taken her i Pad and submerged it in a vat of movie theatre butter.  Instead, I braced myself for, what I’m sure will be, more upcoming adventures in i Padrenting – The Technically Annoying Years.

**Many thanks for all of you who “liked” me on Facebook!  May the Snark Be With You.  For those that haven’t done the deed yet to stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.   Thanks also to all the Pinterest folks that are sharing the Snark. Cheers!

14 thoughts on “Technically Annoying

  1. Natalie says:

    You are so right on! I am always blown away with the parents who let their children bring their ipads into doctor’s offices and do not turn off the volume. Even worse, there is this one family who allows their daughter to play on her ipad in church during the entire service. She doesn’t even attempt to hide it. She’s playing idraw w/ a vengeance and then shows her “drawsome” creations to everyone in the pew. I’ve been so tempted to throw a handful of Holy water on her, but maybe you could come up with something less obvious.

  2. becomingcliche says:

    I think people have killed for less than that. And if I went to a baby shower like the one you described, I’d have to leave. Have to. Murder one is a rap I just don’t need.

  3. Julie the Workaholic says:

    You are amazingly wonderful, and I think you totally ROCK…Snark is the new PC, as far as I’m concerned. Your snarkiness has more common sense than the average person, and I LOVE what you did to the Theater Bachelor Mom (from hell).

    The baby shower gift tweets? You are kidding, right? Please tell me you are kidding, because that has got to be the single most ANNOYING and OBNOXIOUS thing I have read about in a long time.

    Hell, I can barely find time to keep up with my own Facebook and Titter accounts, let alone one for my unborn child (not that there is an unborn child…), and I even had one for a favorite pet once and couldn’t keep up.

    Thanks for your blogs…they tickle the crap out of me.

  4. Suniverse says:

    What the hell? This happens? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? Why would anyone think I cared about their fetus? Can it extend me a credit line? Discuss books? No? THEN SHUT IT.

    Gah, people make me mental.

  5. Phouka says:

    OK–I will speak up for the benefit of iPads for small children as a therapeutic tool. They’re excellent for blind/visually impaired (b/vi) kids to work on all sorts of skills; we got one as a “family gift” this past Christmas, but our goal was really to have one for our now-three-year-old son, because of the benefit he can get from it. (Add in a stand so it’s at a slant, and it’s an amazing tool for b/vi kiddos to use to learn.) It has definitely been a tremendous learning tool for him, especially with scanning, parts/whole (think puzzles and the like), and hand-eye coordiantion.

    That said: no, he shall not have it in the movie theatre, and my husband will be beaten soundly if he ever attempts something like that mom did. (It wouldn’t even occur to me to take the thing with me–wtf?!) I’d try telling the theatre management next time–sometimes, they’ll come get people like that and help them leave to find something better to do with their time (and less irritating to others). As far as the tweeting/facebook goes . . . OMG. Just O. M. effing G. I may have hit her with the phone in the shower if I were there. Evidently, I am just not technologically inclined!

  6. carey says:

    you have sheer, built-in awesomeness. i’d like to grow the balls you have, please. consider making a list to help me get even just half way to your level of fantastic.

  7. Cat@theBeach says:

    I would have applauded as well. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just stay home with her sugared-up kids and ignore them there? Seriously.

  8. Tamara Cate Driesse says:

    OK…it was my smartphone, but I had to use those OBNOXIOUS sounds once to help me get to my flight ontime. It was staying at a small hotel on the UWS. They had only 2 computers in their business center. A woman in her early 60’s and her husband had already gotten both computers. He was reading ESPN online and she was on the KMART webpage. Several other guests were also waiting their turn, just to print boarding passes. After 20 minutes of waiting, I whipped out my smartphone, downloaded the tones from MARIO BROS., I cranked up my volume and then kept hitting the various tones as if I were playing a game. Mrs. Kmart gave me a dirty look and I smiled sweetly. After a few more minutes she jumped up in a huff and stomped off. The gentleman who was actually next in line, rewarded me by allowing me to print first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s