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Sometimes Getting Shot In The Face Can Bring You Together

PongClick Here
There I sat, marveling at the technology before me. I took the rectangular-shaped device on the end of the wire, turned the dial, and a digital bar moved up and down at my command, reflecting the ball away before my computerized opponent scores a point.

Oh my God. PONG is magical and it's going to change everything.

A short time later, I would get my Atari 2600. Space Invaders. Then Nintendo would bring us Super Mario Bros. and change my life. Then SEGA. Then at a young age, I had a son of my own.

Super-mario-bros


Corey lives about five hundred miles away and just finished his first year of college (Go Bulls!). And though we don't talk as often as I'd like, I'm in constant awe of the ways we're able to communicate and spend time together without moving an inch. It will start with a text on our smart phones. "You want to get on XBox Live?" And as it happens, Hell yes I do.

I'm a giant child. You've probably figured that out. And today's video games are nothing like they once were. When before I was pressing a button and blasting aliens in a dance of slow-motion jumping jacks, my son and I are now invading insanely realistic-looking terrorist camps with our MP 5s and grenade launchers, but in reality, I'm laying down in bed with a piece of kit-kat stuck to my beard, wearing a headset and taking orders from my platoon commander, IDIDYOURMOM.

Call-of-duty-4-modern-warfareClick Here

Though five hundred miles separate us, my son and I can play a video game together and have a conversation as if we're sitting in the same room. There are no less than 5 ways we can instantly connect. Texting, Facebook, Skype, twitter... all platforms that have helped bridge the divide between generations in ways we never imagined as children. My son even has a blog now. Do you understand what that means? That I'll be gumming pea soup very soon. (I hope by then someone has invented awesome robot teeth.)

The average game controller has 87 buttons now, none of which can seem to prevent me from getting shot in the face. I suck, basically. And having 8 year olds laugh at you while gunning you down in the streets is fairly emasculating, but fortunately, I'm awesome at name-calling. I'm like a level 42 insulter, second class infantry or something. (Just kidding. I don't yell at your children... unless they start it.)

When I'm tired of getting shot in the face, we'll then hop on YouTube and watch videos of other digital people getting shot in the face. You just can't buy those kinds of tender moments.

My girlfriend and her 13 year old son play Farmville together on Facebook. They're neighbors. They sit next to one another with their laptops and grow digital vegetables together and dish on their neighbors. They spend time together they might otherwise not. Sometimes technology brings us together in ways we don't even recognize.

Some believe that our dependence on gadgetry is too great. And while there might be some truth to that when it's taken to an extreme, without it my son and I would spend a lot less time together lurking around in a North Korean jungle shooting bad guys with our significantly upgraded sniper rifles. And when you think about it that way, you can't help but feel warm all over your whole chest area. That's love your feeling, not the searing metal of my digital justice.

My question for you is, in what way has technology not only had an effect on your quality of life, but how has it affected the quality of your relationships with certain people? A high school friend, a grandma in Idaho who just learned how to "get on the Facebook", or you sitting down and digital farming with your son when 40 years ago, he may have been outside playing stick-ball with his friends while you were making pie? (Mmmm... pie.)

Some believe that technology nurtures the divide between us and helps to further alienate us from one another, but does it really? In many cases, it does just the opposite. I'm proof of that. 

Tell us about a relationship of yours that might have never happened without it, or maybe is just a little better because of it.

This Content Series is brought to you by Dodge Caravan, so technologically advanced your kids will be like '011101110110100101101110.





. . . . .
MayoPie writes nonsense all of the time on his blog.







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Comments

Erin

I met a girl through blogging who shares my name -- we actually started reading each other's blogs because we both commented as "Erin" on another blog, and later saw each other's comments and thought, "Wait ... did I write that? I don't remember writing that."

Now we are good friends -- I was one of the first non-family people she told when she got pregnant, and she'll be one of the first I tell when I do. We've never met in person or spoken on the phone, even, but I consder her a closer friend than many of my real-life accquaintances. Yay technology!

Apryl's Antics

I have reconnected with tons of people (high school, elementary, FAMILY) I never would have again if not for Facebook. I have even found that some of the people I didn't really know that well in high school are actually very cool people I want to know better.

I do believe technology has a way of robbing us of time while claiming to give us more, but overall it's a good thing.

Washington "Real Life Is Hard Enough" Cube

I was in London when Space Invaders hit big. By the time The Pretenders did a song of the same name I had lost interest. I can remember hanging out in arcades with a lot of teenaged boys; me totally focused on my game--an early warning sign I should have heeded. I guess it seems laughable to think of those first computer games we used to play, yet weren't we proud in mastering them? I have had friends who over time have tried to draw me into those interactive fantasy worlds like WarCraft saying how good I would be at them, but I have zero interest. Too much fantasy, I guess.

Snarky Amber

I would not have met my fantastic boyfriend had my dear friend and fellow MamaPop writer Jurgen Nation not introduced us to each other...over email.

Sweetney

My best friend Kelly and I met through Live Journal.

I met my business partner, Amy, through the innernets.

I met my (ex) husband on a listserv in the 90s.

I am fully wired. I'd have no relationships without technology/the internet :)

ThePeachy1

I love it. Me and my family of dorks rock out on rock band.. I too had asteroids and pong, holla to the old dorks..

Jen O.

My IRL best friend started out as a writer of a blog I commented on. She wrote back. Then I wrote back. Then we met. IRL.

Do you remember mIRC from way back in the late 90's? I was OBSESSED. I chatted on there with strangers for hours before it was normal to talk to people you've never met for hours. I met some dude on there and we met in real life and dated for realsies. Which is not the point of the story. The point is, I also BROKE UP with him via mIRC. Which sort of makes me a bitch, but also makes the internet the greatest invention of all time. To be able to break up with someone without even having to look at their stupid face? Genius.

tonya

I saw the title of this post and thought it was about Dick Cheney...and then I saw it was a sponsored post and I was like, whoa, I gotta see who sponsored a post about Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face!

Still a good post, and lots of food for thought!

Snarky Amber

I forgot to mention I met my first long term boyfriend on the AOL poetry message boards in 98. I met my friend Hannah there, too, and we were roommates in Florida. I consider a LOT of people I've met on the internet some of my closest friends, and without Facebook, I would no longer be in contact with most people I've met in meatspace over the years. Technology is stupid aweasome.

Amy @ The Bitchin' Wives Club

Rock Band and Guitar Hero have united our family (since dubbed The Furious Five) for many hours. I adore my kids wailing away on the guitars while I sing or when I get to back them up when they are brave enough to take the mic. I almost cried when my 3 year old made it all the way through Dirty Little Secret without failing out of the song.

High Fives all around!!! Fist bumps!!




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