Technology is growing at such a rate we can only try to keep up. It seems that every day there is a new app…a new phone or some new gadget that every house just can no longer live without. It really is amazing. That doesn’t even count all of the advances made in medicine. Sometimes when I read some story on facebook or a news link about someone surviving some terrible disease I still am in awe about what doctors can do now with technology.
Then there are the day to day uses that just make our life so easy. Cartoons always available to kiddos. Hospital waiting rooms filled with munchkins watching their favorite show or long car rides where little ones can play games on a tablet or learn by game and maybe even do some homework.
Aside from children…there are all the uses for us big people too! I love spending time while waiting anywhere reading a book that I can pull up on my phone, checking news articles, seeing what is new in the facebook world or finding some new idea on pinterest. I love that in the middle of cooking a meal I can google a recipe without leaving the kitchen…or lost on a new road I can always find directions…or immediately share the latest picture of my puppy with anyone I choose!
Then there is the other side…….
I get so angry when I see parents sharing a meal with their family at the restaurant…and as their child builds them a tower of creamer and wants to show it off so proudly…they are too busy checking who “liked” their photo. Or the other way around when a family is trying to enjoy time together and a child is so engulfed in the cartoon being played or the older ones listening to music with ear phones in…they can’t even hear what conversation is happening.
Sometimes I wonder if the child at the grocery store would behave a little better if the parent would stop their conversation, hang up their phone and address the need at the time.
And just like I love having all information at the tip of my fingers…I worry about all that information in some younger peoples’ hands. What can they find out? What are they looking at? I remember when we were younger and we weren’t allowed to have electronics in our rooms. No t.v….no computer. My mom liked all that stuff out in the main rooms so she always knew what we were doing and what we were looking at. With the creation of the internet on phones it’s even harder to keep track.
This post is difficult for me to write…because I have no stand on either side. I mean what the title says…it is a double edged sword. It is something that is so wonderful…and so completely hindering. I knew these feelings when I set out to write tonight and I wanted one outcome…for anyone who reads to step back and assess themselves.
Only you know what you can do or should do. But I urge you to really test yourself to see. It’s easy to say you “could” put your phone away if you had to…but really try. Andy tried downloading my music to my phone last night (yes that’s right we finally got to it) and it gave us some problems. As he worked my phone was plugged into the computer. He worked at it for about an hour. I can’t tell you how many times I looked for my phone…that was attached to the computer…I was sitting still and I couldn’t handle it…I immediately tried to occupy my time. Although I love having something to look at all the time…I forgot how to just be.
So give yourself a little test…just try it out. And then on the day to day…try to think about it. Sometimes I think we reach for electronics out of habit. Next time you are needlessly searching the interwebs…stop and think why? Is there something you are looking for? Is there something you need right now? What else is going on around you? Is there anything else that needs your attention? Or anything else that maybe should have your attention?
I’m not here to preach. I know how wonderful technology can make our lives and I enjoy having it very much. It is just that I think every now and again we should always step back and check ourselves. The whole world does not need to see every picture you ever take of your child….but finding directions when you’re lost is a wonderful thing….candy crush will never make you any money or improve your intelligence…but a sick child in a waiting room really likes to watch the wiggles on demand….
Just don’t forget to live in the moment…to live in this world…every once and a while.