My Grandpa Box and Me

My latest blog for AirPatrol:

There’s a generational gap in the Internet and I might be on the wrong side of the canyon.

Greetings from my “Grandpa Box.”


If you’re wondering if that’s a term for some sort of geriatric storage container, no, it’s not. It’s what my 23 year-old son calls my year-and-a-half old top-of-the-line laptop.

“Grandpa Box.” It just sounds old. As if my sleek little machine were in the same class as steam trains, phonographs, black and white TV, and other musty technologies washed away by progress to make room for shiny new stuff like high speed Internet and giant screen smartphones.

There’s a Grand Canyon’s worth of difference between our respective generations’ preferences in technology and connectedness. For me, and the majority of people who’ve been online since the 14,400 baud days of dial-up, the computer – desktop or laptop – remains our main link to work, email, web browsing, instant messaging and social media (or bulletin boards & chatrooms as we used to call them). Sure, I have a smartphone and I use it for email, quick web lookups, texting and the occasional phone call, but it’s not my preferred form of accessing the Internet of Everything. For that, I have a laptop with a nice big screen, keyboard and touchpad.

My son, on the other hand, has a desktop computer with dual wide screens, but the only reason he uses it is for his college projects. (He’s studying to be a sound designer for videogames. Someday, I’m going to look up what that is). For everything else–email, texting, socializing, video, gaming, whatever–he’s on his phone or tablet touching, swiping, and jabbing his way around the net. His PC is a last resort on the rare occasion the device in his hand can’t do what needs to be done.

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