Tuesday, December 3, 2013

technology dependence

In the kitchen the other night, I stood folding laundry and stacking items into three giant-sized laundry baskets – one for me and Someone, one for Erin, and one for Emily.  I imagine that next year when the girls are living in dorms and on their own, they will not be wanting their clothes washed as often as they do when the house-slave (me) does the laundry.  The girls were sitting at the kitchen table with cell phones in hands and this conversation began:

Emily to Erin – “What if you had to actually go out on a date with every boy who you ever replied to their text message?”

Both girls started scrolling through their text message history and naming names, and giving appropriate reactions  - mostly ugh and ewww, but a few boys garnered positive ratings. 

Then, Emily asked me – “Did you and Daddy text message before you started dating?”

I explained to her that neither of us had cell phones then, because the phones in those days were big and not convenient to carry around.

Erin asked, “Did you email each other all the time?”  Both girls snickered. 

I commented that their daddy didn’t really use a computer much in those days, so no, we didn’t even email.

So then Emily said, “Well, what did you do then?  Did you write letters by hand….and then send them by carrier pigeon?”    

Oh that Emily!  She’s such a hoot. 

The truth is, it’s hard to remember life without Internet and wireless technology.  When my cell phone battery drops below 30%, I start worrying it might go all the way dead before I can charge it.  It’s probably not a good thing to be as dependent on technology as we are these days. 

Maybe technology is a wonderful curse.  It saves lives and time, but what is the cost?  We become more impatient and inactive, and maybe even less imaginative in some ways.  It makes us able to do more with less, but the productivity gain discounts the effort required to complete a task.  Whereas it provides means for humankind to be more collaborative (and we are), it also enables us to be more isolated. 

Even so, I bought myself a birthday/Christmas present last weekend.  It’s about time!!!!  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for well over a year, and soon (maybe in just two more days) it will be on my doorstep.  It’s an iPad Air.  Yes, World, soon I will have it all. My only regret is that it won’t be delivered by an octocopter.  Maybe the next time I get one, it will!    


linda said...

Now and then we go out as a family and I leave my phone at home. At first it was agony, the urge to touch my phone was not being satisfied and I did not know what to do. At one place I read a magazine (like in the old days). I would not like to go back to the days of pre internet. I have a nature that likes to be very preoccupied - the internet does fulfil that need quite well.

I think I have a good handle on enforcing the tech boundaries these days.

Okay, that is a lie. I create boundaries that suit me and stick to them. Big boundaries.

I love that photo. It gives new meaning to "heads down and back to work".

KYLady said...

I haven’t instituted any tech boundaries for myself, but sometimes I just have to just make myself go to bed (ok, so maybe that is a boundary…the 3 AM boundary). There are a few games I could just play all night long if I didn’t have to get up and be productive the next day.