I can see how it would be unsettling to be laughing with your friends, far from the eyes and interruptions of the adult world, when suddenly your mother takes over your computer screen and demands that you call her. What is it like to be a teenager whose mom knows how to remotely turn off your technology when you refuse to answer your phone, text, email, and FaceTime? Keep in mind, I’m the person who fixes my teen’s phone when they can’t figure out why their apps have disappeared. I’m the person who set up a Tumblr for them to upload the stop-motion videos I also taught them how to do. And I’m the one they’ll will come to when their first job requires them to learn the latest software.
It’s a common stereotype: if you need to figure out a new piece of technology, you hand it to the youngest member of the family. The media has been publishing articles about adults’ apparent tech ignorance for nearly two decades. In 2000, The Economist claimed the “family tech guru” was “far more likely to be a teenager than the father of the house.” Perhaps they should have checked with the mother, because that’s never been true in my house, where I live with my husband and sixteen-year-old kid.