Wednesday, September 9, 2009

High Tech, Low Tech, No tech.

These days, it's hard to find someone that isn't plugged in and online. We have computers, cell phones, digital cameras, PDA's, and more to keep us wired to each other and to everyone. There's Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Blogs, you name it... it's there. Being a mom in this day of high tech-ness means somethings are a lot easier - such as sharing photos with friends and family, taking videos, communicating with family and friends in distant places. But what's the cost of all of this technology? How many "friends" do you have on any of the social networking sites that you haven't seen or spoken to "live" in years? Does it matter? Are we becoming a nation of wired individuals that it's taking a toll on our personal relationships? What will this mean for our kids?

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely a lot of benefits to being wired. How nice it must be to not have to wonder where your kids are at, you just call them. If they are going to be home late, they just call you. Your grandma can't make it to your wedding, that's ok, just stream it live! Gavin gets to Skype with his grandparents when they are in another state. You can't remember if your friends birthday is the 5th or 6th, just look it up on Facebook. You want to go out to dinner, but want to see if you'll like the menu before you go... great - look it up! (When was the last time anyone opened a phone book??). Imagine all the great information you could have at your finger tips for those book reports in high school!

But I do think there are some challenges to be so connected. One... if you don't respond to a voicemail within a "reasonable" (different definition for different people, mind you) amount of time, you are considered possibly dead and thus subjected to even more emails, voicemails, etc. that you don't want to or don't have time to answer. It's difficult to have a conversation with someone who is always checking their blackberry, or their phone, or their computer... you wonder if they are ever really present in the conversation. People rely so much on technology, they forget there is a wonderful world out there of people that actually want to talk to you, see you, and spend time with you. And not spend time with you while you are looking at your phone. It makes me sad every time I experience it, and every time I see it. I am not one to answer my phone just because it rings - I would rather be present in whatever I am doing at that time. My biggest pet peeve is people that talk on their phones for extended periods of time (I totally understand the answer and say "let me call you back" in case it is an emergency...) right in front of your face. Or the ones that would rather surf through the internet then have a conversation with you.

Is technology making us better parents? Or is it creating a barrier that doesn't need to exist? How do we manage it and provide a good example for what our kids should be doing - focusing on personal relationships or virtual ones? My personal opinion... put down the phone, close the laptop, and focus on the people right in front of you. And if there aren't any right in front of you... go find them.


  1. Okay, I feel like you wrote this directly to me. I have a bad habit of spending too much time on the computer! Thanks for this great post...I think we all need to spend more time in real life.

  2. I swear I'm the last person who doesn't have internet on their phone .. so you can have a conversation with me .. I will be present :)