I’m a techno-nut.
If it’s some kind of technical apparatus – from sound and lighting to iPads and smartphones – I’m fascinated. I suppose my amazement of all things – well, amazing – comes from an innate and profound curiosity of how things do the the things they do. I want to know how they work, not to mention the results they deliver. Because of that, I’m really good at taking things apart; not so good at putting them back together.
On my iPad, it’s a weekly, late-night ritual to surf the app store, just to see what’s new, or what I may need that will make my life easier. Recently, I found myself looking for some sort of fancy-couldn’t-do-without TV remote control for my iPad in the app store, while the old-fashioned wand-type control rested on the arm of my recliner. “Really?” I thought. I can remember the day when I got up from the couch to turn the TV dial to channel 4, 8, or 10.
But, I digress.
I read a blog post yesterday about an app for the iPad that started me down this ranting road I’m on. It’s only $4.99, and it’s called Goodnight Moon. Yep…the same Goodnight Moon we all know and love. Mark Roberts, the blog post author describes the app:
Now, you, your children, and your grandchildren don’t have to read Goodnight Moon in the old-fashioned way, holding a book, turning the pages, and so forth. Rather, the app will read the book to you in a soothing female voice with equally soothing background piano music (Robert Schumann’s “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen” from Kinderszenen, Opus 15, 1838; the music plays nonstop, but can be turned off). You can set it up so that the electronic pages turn either automatically or when you swipe them. Alternatively, you can silence the narration and read the book yourself.
I love the book, and I love the memories associated with the book. I read it to my boys night after night, and after 1,324.29 readings, I began to entertain myself by using a variety of different voices and accents. You know, make it exciting for everyone involved. Of course, it was practically memorized.
Yet, the point wasn’t necessarily the book…it was the bonding time that I spent with my boys, fresh out of bath time in clean ‘jammers with head on my shoulder, guarded by my embrace. It was a place of love. There were other books, no doubt, but Goodnight Moon was special, because it was the first-read book in our bedtime library , and it was so suggestive of what was to come – a good night’s sleep.
There are some things technology can’t do – reading a book to your child is one of them. Playing catch, fishing, going to a movie, taking a hike, and so on – all done with the singular purpose of spending time together, are others.
Technology can do many things, but it cannot – and must not – replace the means by which we say “I love you”.