I’m not talking about CYA, McDonald’s, “contents are hot” sort of warnings (although that kind of real world warning is apparently necessary).  I’m talking about the useful sort of heads up that potentially saves a whole lotta grief.  And stress.  I’m all for cutting out stress.  I’m talking about signs like these

But those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Warning:  Uneven ground.  Seriously.

I hate to dog on my gender, but I’m flabbergasted at the number of ladies I see tromping around beaches, amusement parks, or historical downtown areas in ridiculous shoes.  Platforms, kitten heels, stilettos, or those adorable-sandals-that-make-me-look-cute…none of these are proper footwear for extended walking or jacked up sidewalks.  For the love of Pete, just put on sensible shoes and throw your super cute ones in your bag.

Warning:  Blasting music through your headphones means you won’t be able to hear the barista in your thirties.

Yes, kids love their music.  Yes, they love to listen to it at an insane volume.  But maybe if they understood the real world impact of “potential hearing loss” on their lives down the road they’d lower it a notch or two.

Warning:  Even relatively innocuous network sex can lead to awkward questions.  Watch at your own risk.

Case in point, The Good Wife.  My current laundry folding Netflix show of choice because the kids are home and it’s got limited language, limited violence, plus limited amount of skin.  I figure they’re old enough to deal.

Until Bear walks in on Calinda hooking up with that girl from the FBI and I make some joke about how sex only seems to pop up when she comes into the room.  Now, we’re pretty open around here, but things were heating up onscreen so I was desperately trying to pause the show (why won’t this remote ever work when I need it to?!?) as Bear processed that tidbit.

Bear:  Mom?
me:  Yeah?
Bear:  Aren't those two girls?
me:  Yep.
Bear:  But they're having sex?
me:  Yeah.
Bear:  Why?
me:  [blink, blink]   Because they're gay.
Bear:  But...they're two girls.
me:  [wth, we've talked about this]  Okay...
Bear:  But...I mean...how...?  They don't have...um...
[cue T-man's entrance]
me:  We'll talk about this later.

Holy moly.

Warning:  Any “miraculous tool for parenting in the digital age” will require an 80% time investment up front followed by a 42% effort expended over the next five months working out bugs in the system.  It will become a “miraculous tool,” at best, after ten months of making it a workable tool.

Support tickets.  E-mail communications.  Lock outs from the Cloud.  Uninstalling and reinstalling apps on iPads that work perfectly fine on iPhones.  Password changes.  More password changes.  Password changes until nobody knows their password anymore.

Hopefully by Christmas these two programs will be tools that make parenting in the digital age a little bit easier.  If I haven’t taken a sledgehammer to all of the devices by then.