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Our generation's blinking 12:00

My 13-year-old niece got a cell phone. Worse than that, she got unlimited texting. Now I get to field messages about everything from "wat up" to pictures of pet frogs (yeah, I know, right?) to, oddly, pictures of her friends sleeping. That last one has me feeling creepy.

I'll say this for her, she took to texting right off. It was like she was born for it. And other than spelling jolts like "funney" or "yep, thats ture," she's quite articulate. We just have to work on her timing. Kara and I are getting text messages at four in the morning that are forwards of the "forward this to 15 people or something bad will happen" variety.

I didn't even know crap like that existed anywhere but e-mail. I am SO 2005.

Meanwhile, my nephew barely speaks to me. Unless I don a Halo mic, that is. He's pretty much glued to the WiiXboxStation. Ah, to be young again! I remember 72-hour Nintendo marathons. Somehow playing "Super Mario Bros" doesn't seem as mind-numbing as "Need for Speed." But what do I know?

I'm a tech head. I love the toys. I can hang with the kids. And yet ... they seem to have a lot more focuson it than I'm able to have. Kayela can happily text all day. Mathew can zone out to the point of forgetting to breathe while playing on the Xbox. I can't seem to finish this sen*

Guess that's what "Old Timer" will mean now. I'll be that guy who refers to things like "the Facebooks" or "i-Pards." So far I've managed to stay on that cutting edge, but I'm just waiting to see what new-fangled tech comes along to knock me off of my long-held perch.

Kind of makes me feel bad for making fun of my grandparents when they couldn't set the clock on the VCR.

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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