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Monday, July 12, 2010

Plugged In or Tuned Out?

I LOVE technology! With my oldest son on the other side of the United States and soon possibly the other side of the world, I depend on technology to stay in contact with him. Skype has got to be about the coolest thing around! We can not only talk (for FREE!) we can SEE each other too! This really helps us both to feel more connected. I think I really would have hated to be a Navy Mom even 20 years ago before the dawn of easily accessible Internet for all, cells and Skype. I would have been a nervous wreck having to wait for letters or a once a week phone call!

I also live in a rather rural area and don't have many I would call "friend." Our homeschool group which I helped found is somewhat lacking in regards to consistency and participation. So often feeling somewhat secluded the internet and online social groups such as Facebook and homeschooling message boards have really helped me feel "connected" to others who share my interests.

In these ways I'd have to say technology is a blessing. Not just for me and my family, but I am sure many others as well. It can be a helpful tool.

At the same time, it can be a curse, even for my family. I have been observing these past few weeks, that while we are all home together and under the same roof, I am not sure we are spending as much quality time together. I often can be found right here, at my computer, while my 13 year old can be found at his. When Dad isn't working(which is rare!) he can be found in front of the TV, and even my little 3 year old sits on the couch with his Nintendo DS playing Super Mario Bros. The 11 year old would be on the XBox, but for the fact that it recently died.

I don't think my family is that rare as when I go to the theater there are several texting away during the movie! Oh how that really irritates me! First, I am paying ALOT of money to go see a movie, and I am constantly distracted by the flashing lights and vibrating noises coming from dozens of cells. Why even go to the movie if you can't stay off the phone for a whole two hours? Don't even get me started on Cells in church!!

Go to any restaurant and the scenario is about the same. Couples dining together, and rather than sharing a romantic meal they are constantly allowing themselves to be interrupted with calls or texts.

We are in the same room together, but are we really together? Are we tuned into our family and other loved ones, really? Or are we tuned into our electronic devices?

As I said, for my own family technology has in many ways been a HUGE blessing and made my life situations alot more bearable. So, I don't think the answer is to completely ban technology but like everything else in life, moderation is key!

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