Jungle Boy Meets iPhone / by Dana Bergstrom

Pauly's done a great job avoiding anything technology related.

This does not include power tools.

He’s all about those.

But how he's managed to dodge computers for 50 long years is pretty dang impressive.

I’m the opposite. I loooove technology!

And I desperately want Pauly to share my love of all things electronic, so several years ago I forced an iPod on him, claiming he’d have access to millions of construction related YouTube videos in the palm of his hand.

Fortunately, he loves music, so once I got the Pandora and Soundcloud apps on there, he took to it right away. YouTube was just a bonus.

Then we got him a cell phone.

He agreed to use it but when I’d ask where it was, we’d find the phone buried in his nightstand drawer after a week's worth of voicemails and messages had piled up.

Or he’d leave it on a shelf and never turn it on.


Once his mom got sick though, Pauly started to take electronic communication very seriously. He wanted to know immediately if his parents needed anything, so he started carrying his phone on him at all times.

And now he’s taking a year-long Jin Shin Jyutsu course out in New Jersey and EVERY SINGLE COMMUNICATION FOR CLASS is online.

This was daunting and frustrating news for Pauly.

Many times he's shouted, "All I need for JSJ are THESE BAD BOYS!” while holding his magical hands up in the air.

I told him I’d be happy to walk him through all of his technology issues.

The other day we were walking to the fixer upper next door, he asked me with 100% sincerity,

“What’s the difference between email and gmail?”




We really are starting at square one.

Deep breath.

Okay...we can DO THIS.

I explained that gmail is a provider of email. For example, you could have Charter (our local cable company) or Google which has cleverly named their service.

We got through that one.

The browser discussion was much more difficult.

As were explanations of texting vs. messaging, tabs vs. pages, and apps and Microsoft Excel and uploading and downloading and servers and firewires.


I’m hearing this a lot...




Pauly's learning a new language, so I’ve gotta go nice and easy.

When he left for Newark Liberty International Airport last month, I felt like I was sending an innocent jungle boy out into the cold, mean, electronic world.

Pauly grew up in the jungle in Africa and he’s done his best to maintain as much of that simple lifestyle as possible in our little house in the woods. So, I kind of was.

But then he had to take Uber to get everywhere, and he'd never done that before.

He had airplane tickets in his phone wallet and had to figure out how to access them.

His hotel reservation numbers were saved in his email and his notes apps, just in case.

I rearranged all the important stuff on his phone so everything he needed was on the home page.

But then I also wondered if he’d accidentally delete all the phone apps with his cute lil' butt and destroy the entire trip.


He had to run between both of his connecting flights so we didn’t have much time to chat. I just had to trust that he was gonna get where he needed to go without me.

When he called from his hotel late that night I surprisingly found myself bursting with pride.


This must be how it feels to watch your kid successfully ride a bike without training wheels the first time.


My heart swelled.

This month he’s driving to New Jersey, so he's had to learn Google Maps the hard way - on a 20 hour road trip.

I can't tell you how many times I’ve explained how to use Google Maps before and since he left. It’s a marathon in patience for us both.

But we’re both happy that he’s learning.

And I'm pretty sure the man is well on his way to joining me in techno-love!

I can feel it!

Google maps led him to Weinerlicious in Michigan. Lookit how happy he is!

Google maps led him to Weinerlicious in Michigan. Lookit how happy he is!