No, I do not lament for “the good old days.” I am a firm believer in the benefits of technology. Technology allows us to keep in touch with family and friends that are miles (kilometers for those in Sweden) away. I couldn’t imagine being able to do my job without using a computer. The Internet has made a trove of information (good and bad) available to us – I don’t think I could have so easily started my woodworking hobby without the resources available on the Internet.
However, I think nothing comes for free. With the Internet and computers we are given content. It becomes easy to become lost in the sea of content that streams into our houses through our computers and phones and TVs.
Susanna and I have been talking about that a lot recently. She has noticed that in her classes, the other students will get lost into their smart phones instead of talking to each other. All her class assignments are to be electronically turned in via the college’s online portal. I can feel the pull at work. It is easier to send an email off and forget about something, than actually call someone. I can see it in the boys- if we let them, their days would revolve around using their electronics.
But I don’t think work or even school is where the real problem exists. I think it is in our homes. The first think I used to do every morning was to check my iPhone. I would catch up on Facebook and email. Is my connection to the Internet so important that it is the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I do at night? I have been starting to think that it should not be.
As a family we have been pushing to take a little step back in time – to when we weren’t so connected. We have started having “no electronic” days. Susanna has been leaving her phone downstairs at night. I have been (sometimes with more success than others) trying to avoid checking my email all the time.
Maybe our houses should be a refuge from the world that is overstimulated with media? Are we the only ones that feel this? What steps do other families do to limit the intrusion of electronics into their homes.
And yes, I do see the irony of spending my evening on the Internet typing on how I am trying to limit using the Internet and electronics at home.