01 March, 2013

A Love-Hate Relationship

I'm not ashamed to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with technology, there's no middle ground for me! I love the ability to quickly and efficiently communicate through e-mail and reconnect with old friends via social media. I hate the frustrating feeling that overwhelms me when my computer is down, slow or off-line. I do not text, I do not have a smart phone. After a recent almost-death plunge into the commode for my early model flip-phone I realize one needs to be smart to have a phone that is smart. Honestly, I don't feel like I am missing a thing.

Technology, used in excess, can have detrimental emotional and physical repercussions. A recent news story on television followed two families with young teens who embarked upon an experiment with a technology-free week. One thirteen year old girl cried from her tight fetal position on the floor, in a corner, as she endured withdrawal symptoms, she felt isolated from and abandoned by her friends. Nothing prevented her from getting up, going out, and spending physical time with them! The same news story cited the fact that women are heavier than they were thirty years ago and blamed technology for the fact that these women don't do as much housework: cooking, cleaning and laundry. Really? That time for chores has been completely replaced by the computer? I'm not convinced that is the only reason but I'll go along with it being a contributing factor. The anchor of the news show admitted that he and his wife and children couldn't make it through a family meal without their phones, he confessed that he wasn't proud of this fact but felt powerless to change the behavior. Wow.

In a recent sermon our Senior Pastor announced the addition of a Wednesday noontime prayer service during Lent. He addressed the subject of technology in the sanctuary and stressed the fact that he was not scolding, but rather, pleading with those who cannot be away from their phones, tablets and/or MP3 players for even an hour to remember that our sanctuary is just that. He even quoted Einstein: "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.". This has all been food for thought nourishing my little mind. I love my e-reader, my I-pod and my laptop. I am writing this during my dedicated computer time; I'm in control and that's the key for me, technology doesn't dictate my schedule, and I hope it never does.

A recent visit to the doctor's office included some unexpected wait time in the exam room; a new computerized record-keeping system had been installed at the first of the year. My doctor was unable to log-in to chart some of my vital statistics; frustrated, he called in some tech help. A young man (he looked 15, but what do I know?) entered and confirmed the fact that the screen was, indeed, frozen! He suggested that the doctor try to log in from his office (adjacent to the exam room); the doctor was unable to do that since my "chart" was already opened!?! After that a parade of young men, and women, attempted to offer assistance while I sat on the examination table. I could literally feel the helpless frustration of my doctor; nearing retirement age, he was attempting adopt a spirit of cooperation with a system that had been thrust upon him, he was left feeling out of touch and definitely powerless to do anything but wait for someone else to come to his rescue. I could relate and sympathize. I prefer to control the technology that comes into my life, I'm certain that to some of you that makes me sound like a dinosaur; so be it. My children (and soon, my grandchildren) help me out when I need help, they're patient with me, I'm grateful. I really do love and embrace technology (when I don't hate it), as long as it's on my terms.
Life is Good!

15 comments:

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Oh, so well said! I'm a BIT more techno than you are, but I attribute that to having been working in a school. We recently bought a Roku, on someone's advice, and managed to get it hooked up but have been unable to figure out what to do with it!! Consultation with dear SIL scheduled for this evening . . . . .

Pen Pen said...

Well said!!! I truly have a love hate relationship with it all, too. It is such a distraction and truly makes me 'nervous' sometimes, with my mind racing in so many different directions. I'm trying to limit my time with these gadgets these days, too.

Pen Pen said...

ps...I forgot to say I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau right now on my Kindle (LOL)... anyway, very insightful...makes me want to go to my own Walden Pond. :))

Janet O. said...

I have a computer (obviously), but it is not a laptop, so it can't go everywhere with me. I have a dumb phone, and I don't own an ipad or notebook--DH has both, but refuses to get a cell phone. We are an interesting mix.
I have a hard time when I am with people who are constantly checking their devices and can't focus on the people with whom they are present.
I love what your pastor said--and what you have said. Once again, you struck a chord with me!

cityquilter grace said...

i think this resonates with many; i too am a techno junkie of sorts but within limits; have no smart phone, don't tweet but enjoy the world my computer brings to me. like most mechanical objects, they are great when they work but when they don't, they are useless. hoping that doesn't hold true for humans as well....

Ancestor Collector said...

I love my technology, but not ALL the time. I have a smart phone, I text, have a NOOK, an iPad, and a laptop and I can find my way around all of them pretty well. But I don't feel bonded to them 24 hours a day. I'm glad to have my own in-house IT guy though. ;-) The thing that annoys me to no end is when teenagers sit in church, tapping away on their phones, texting, playing games, whatever....and the parents allow it!! And don't get me started about the people whose phones start playing crazy tunes during worship! Church is sacred time. I do believe that to keep up with modern life we have to learn how to use technology. I don't want to be a little old lady who has no clue what's going on. One thing to consider: if you had a smart phone you could have texted, played Words with Friends, sent an email and checked Facebook while you waited for your doctor to sort his computer out! Hahaha!! :-)

Quiltdivajulie said...

Marvelously written!

Technology is definitely a presence in the daily life of our household - but the boundaries are becoming more clearly defined in an attempt to curb its kudzu-like infiltration!

Carrie P. said...

Oh, don't get me started. Technology doesn't rule my life and I am not going to let it either. My lap top is the fanciest thing I have as far as technology goes.

Quilt Hollow said...

I have a smart phone and love it! While I agree with you on many counts I wouldn't give up this phone! Girl, it has made so much easier for me! Funny thing...I prefer holding a real deal book with pages over the digital version. Lol

Jean said...

Here, Here! Our kids (they are all older, out of the house and/or married) seem to think that if we don't have our "phones" turned on we are nuts! Ahem, aren't these supposed to be for "our" convenience? I thought so anyway... so, that's what I tell them when I want it on... it will be on! So, leave a msg! LoL...
I have a home phone w/land line that they can also leave a msg! I will get to it when I want too!
You know, I love also being able to turn the pages of a book... and turn back a few if I need to relook at something, w/out loosing my place.

Edith said...

I love my smart phone, tablet and laptop but I can do without them for a time. The convenience definitely has a price. No online books for me though. I will always prefer holding a book, turning the pages and losing myself in what is written there.

jirons42 said...

Hear Hear

MuleHill said...

I love to shut it all off. Especially during R&R.

Youtube is full of How To videos. Roku setup for example.

No need to ask for advice when the internet has all the info available... Oh. Right. Never mind. Ask an actual person. :0D

StitchinByTheLake said...

I confess that I love my technology - laptop, IPhone, IPad and Kindle. But like you I have certain times that I use them and other times that they are off limits. My phone is in my purse when I go to church, but turned off. It's there for two reasons - driving home if I have car problems I can call someone and sometimes I stop by the grocery on my way home. My list is in my phone. I love that my children can send me pictures of my grandchildren by text to my IPad and I can save them there. But like most things, there's a time and a place for everything. blessings, marlene

Quilter Kathy said...

What a great post...I find the same struggle/enjoyment!