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Geek Mom Strikes Again


Scratched lens on my camera phone. Grrrrr….

The truly frustrating part is that all my pictures come out foggy, hazy. I have another camera that I use, but the fun convenience of being able to snap a worthy photo on my phone has evaporated.

Well, say what you will about the design flaw that has a protruding camera lens, one of the things I love about my Evo is that it is entirely repairable.

My first step was to take a trip down to my local, friendly Sprint Store. The techs there are always pleasant, but I have to be honest, they’re not capable of anything more than regurgitating the statement, “Let me put your phone on our diagnostic tool for you.”  They weren’t permitted by Sprint to make any other types of repairs and suggested a phone repair shop a few doors down. Alternatively, they were also quite happy to help me into a whole new phone.

The thing is, I was only willing to pay someone to replace the lens cover if they were authorized Sprint repairs. And there was no way I was going to purchase an entirely new phone over a small repair. The technician looked at me with shock when I replied back, “That’s OK, I’ll do it myself.” I’m certain that he never expected a 30-something year old lady with a 6 year old boy in tow was capable of handling things herself. Well guess what? I’m a Geek Mom. I got this.

$3.99 later + $2 shipping, I’ve received my replacement lens cover. Yup, $6 total for the parts.

Turns out, replacing the lens cover is ridiculously, stupidly easy. As in, my 9 year old son more than likely could have handled it. Want to know how?

1. Remove the back cover and battery.

2. With a box-knife blade pry off the outer ring and the lens cover.

3. Place the new lens cover and outer ring on the phone. New adhesive was included.

4. Attach battery and back cover.

Done. 5 minutes and $6. Who’s yo mama now?

Before

After

The Luxury of Being Anti-Social


I don’t have that luxury.

Was my reply to Mom’s announcement she was considering closing her Facebook account. “Of course you do!” was her response.

On the surface, she’s not entirely wrong. I can absolutely close my account. It has not replaced my interactions with my friends and family, although sharing family photos would require some rejiggering on my part. But that wasn’t really what I was referencing.

At the time, my cousin’s teenage daughter was living with my parents. My mom really only used her Facebook account to monitor her activity, but because she wasn’t a regular user my mom did not have the tools to fully understand what my cousin’s daughter was doing. Over time, the Facebook activity became such a bone of contention between the two that my mom eventually banned her from Facebook.

As you may have guessed, this strategy wasn’t exactly successful.

I adore my mom. She’s incredible and I often call her Super Grammy. Although there is an alarming and growing trend of grandparents rearing children, to take on your niece’s teenage daughter is matter for sainthood. On top of that, she’s there 100% for me with my children as well. Vomiting kid? No problem, get your hiney to work and I’ll mop up. You’re sick? Let me bring you some soup. Need a night out? Send the kids over, I can handle it.

On top of that, my mom is incredibly intelligent and tech savvy. She was the one to teach me DOS and introduce me to computers. She’s still the only one at her house that can setup and program their entertainment centers. She was the first to adopt ebooks in our family and the first among us to use online banking and shopping.

So let me make this exceptionally clear. Her problem with Facebook isn’t lack of smarts, caring or knowledge – it is lack of use.

First, without regular usage, Super Grammy was unaware that you could disable posts, pictures and your wall from people you still had friended. She didn’t know that she wasn’t seeing a complete picture and she didn’t know how to limit or control it.

Second, it’s impossible to model good social networking behavior if you don’t use the services. Until you’ve made a few online blunders yourself, it’s difficult to anticipate the specific problems, bullying and arguments that can arise from these platforms.

With the increase in frictionless sharing and interconnectivity it’s imperative that I remain fluent in the digital biosphere.  I’ve made a few of my own blunders and I’m learning how to mentor and model best social networking practices.

Frictionless sharing is the single most irritating part of Facebook and what almost had me quit. As the Maid of Honor in one of my best friend’s weddings, I was using Pinterest to explore all facets of wedding planning. Although I’d disabled the app from posting to my Timeline it managed to sneak back. Multiple inquiries about my upcoming nuptials had me steaming.

A small mishap like that one could really translate into major problems for the novice user. Unfortunately, this technology is changing at a pace that even the most seasoned social networker has trouble staying afloat. I will simply be an ineffective instructor for my children if I don’t keep my account, actively use it and seek out the newest changes each and every time.

My children are still young and they haven’t yet begun with Facebook  but I certainly see it glinting at me over the horizon.

What are your thoughts? How do you manage your children’s online social networking? What’s worked? What hasn’t?

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