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Where is Tech Support in an Empty Nest?

Lisa writes: A few months from now my husband and I will truly live in an empty nest and our real problems will begin. With two boys away at college and one to go, we are in a period of transition that helps me get ready for that day when time will stop. Unfortunately, nothing can fully prepare me.

I am speaking about technology.  I am not great at hooking things up or using new applications, but husband is far far worse.  The only thing that actually allowed us to successfully enter the 21st century (and I imagine that there were people being blocked at the doors) was the fact that one of our boys was already 9 years old and fairly competent at dial up Internet, answering machines and hooking up a VCR player.  As time went by their technology skills improved and frankly ours did not.  I think they enabled us.

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I have always had an irrational fear of those dusty old houses where nothing has changed for decades and what should be charming is really just creepy.  You know the house.  The 50 year old plumbing and peeling wallpaper and the rancid smell of decades past .

Technologically, we are in danger of becoming that house.

Sure I can get carpets changed and buy a new kitchen table, but already I see the signs that we are becoming the creepy house, a place where new technology never arrives and old technology gathers dust and cobwebs. We have a DVD player that seems to be permanently connected to our TV, although I do not believe it works.  Pull the plug on the DVD and the TV stops.  Why?  Nobody seems to want to tell me. When I resolve to sort out the tangle of wire I have carefully hidden behind the TV, I notice that there is also a VCR player although we have not had VCRs since 2002 and it, too, seems connected to everything. And then I walk away.

There is the closet with every cord for every service we have ever had in this house, the cable, the satellite, the Fios, the Internet. New things with wires get connected, but old wires and cords strangely remain.  I might be able to bribe my kids into making technology house calls, back to our empty nest, but sometimes the looks of pity that they give us make it simply not worthwhile.  How are you keeping up with the 21st century with or without your tech-savy kids?

Read more from Grown and Flown on their blog

Grown and Flown

Grown and Flown: Parenting from the Empty Nest reflects on the arc of parenting with an emphasis on 15-25 year olds. Lisa Endlich Heffernan is an author and wrote a NYT Business Bestseller following a Wall Street career. After working in media, Mary Dell Harrington became a school and hospital volunteer. Counting all five of their kids, they have 93 years of parenting experience. They’ve been working moms and stay-at-home moms and have shepherded their children in and out of elementary, middle and high school. With their youngest now seniors in high school, they have the empty nest in sight.

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