Saturday, October 23, 2010

Parents Weekend Circa 2010

This weekend was Parents weekend at Quinnipiac University. We have two sons in college in Connecticut, one at UCONN and one at QU. Our entire family met at Quinnipiac today, with our dog Bella in tow. We used GPS to drive to the college. My wife sent text messages to her two boys (non-stop) during the two hour drive from New Jersey. We used EZ-Pass to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge. On campus, we took digital photos from iPhones and numerous digital cameras. We used cell phones to stay in touch when we all were occasionally separated. There were 2D Barcodes all over Quinnipiac, for instant coupons to be sent to mobile phones for Parents Weekend specials. You could text “Boomer” (the QU Mascot) to the short code for QU to win a free dinner at a local restaurant.

Quinnipiac played Holy Cross in Ice Hockey at 4pm. The game was streamed live on the Internet. At least half the people at the hockey game had video cameras, and the others were watching the game on the Jumbo Screen at the new sports arena. Some people in the stands were actually looking down at the ice, watching the game live. What a concept, watching a sporting event live, without using any form of electronic device.

Before my wife and I said our goodbyes, I had some time alone with my youngest son, Robert, our UCONN sophomore. There were no cell phones involved, no text messages, and no cutting-edge technology. It was just the two of us, and our dog Bella. Robert spoke to me directly, looking me in the eye, standing just a few feet away. I will remember that five minute one-on-one conversation for the rest of my life. There was no need for digital technology. As they say on the TV commercials, “priceless”.

Technology is all around us. Technology can make our lives better. It can save us time, it can make us money. In some cases, it can even save our lives. But technology can never replace the most important things in life. The take home message: do not miss the “no technology required” moments in your life. And, these moments happen more often than you think, so pay attention. Put away the cell phone. Just use your eyes, you ears. And, if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity, put your hand on your son or daughter’s shoulder, and use your sense of touch as well. The best “Kodak moments” in life do not need a camera.

By the way, if you are interested, you can watch the replay of today’s Ice Hockey game on Hulu and on YouTube, as Quinnipiac beat Holy Cross 3 to 1. Technology really is amazing.

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