Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Love/Hate relationship with Technology

I really have had a love/hate relationship with technology through the years. Technology is a blessing to our society and families, but it can be a curse as well. I could go on and on citing a million examples of this relationship, but I will list a few.
Cell Phones
*I had a cell phone from the time we got married until a year after moving to Corvallis, so I have been cell phone-less for more than 4 years now. Initially, I just dropped my plan to save money, but it has ended up being a very good thing overall.
Cons of not having a cell phone-It makes me a little nervous when I am driving down south to visit family with the kids by myself. There is also a very rare occasion when I feel flustered that I don't have a cell phone. When my sister was picking me up from the airport as I just flew a red-eye flight alone with the kids a few months ago, we didn't find each other at first. I was exhausted, and I remember feeling very frustrated that I didn't have a cell phone. I actually am thinking about getting a phone where you pay as you go for the minutes, so I can have it in case of an emergency, but not something that I would use on an everyday basis.
Pro of not having a cell phone-It forces me to interact with human beings more. When I am at the park, I can't ignore my kids while I text message the whole time (not saying a lot of moms do this... but I've seen some). It allows me to be present when I am with people more. I am not interrupting someone's train of thought so I can respond to a text message really fast. It is only after not having a cell phone, that I realized how rude many cell phone habits are. It is also really dangerous to talk on a cell phone while you are driving. I have already been accused by Chris of not being the best driver in the world, so I really don't think that I want to do anything to ad to that. I'm not trying to make people feel bad at all if any of these habits describe you, because like I said, I was only able to notice these things after I got rid of my cell phone. Oh and the last thing.... I don't want to be accessible to the world 24 hours a day. I love talking to famliy/friends on the phone, and I have many opportunities to do so when I am at home.

As we were moving into our new house a month ago, we were looking at finding any bills that we could cut, and we decided to cut t.v., at least temporarily. Chris was a good sport about it, because it is just the beginning of basketball season.
For me, I have really enjoyed not having cable or any channels. I have really been taking advantage of the great resources of our library by checking out dvds to watch(I also like to think I am helping our city run nicely with my overdue fines :). I am currently watching Season 2 of Lost, and when I am done with that... I can get even more reading done. It's a good thing. I check out a couple of dvds from the library (like Blues Clues and Sesame Street) for the kids to watch. So obviously we are still watching shows, but no commercials, and I get to be really picky about what the kids watch. Although my kids still watch limited dvds, they definitely aren't watching as much as they were when we had channels and on demand. I am happy keeping our arrangement how it is now, but Chris and I will have to decide if he can continue to live without the Blazers. We shall see.

Facebook has been my most recent love/hate relationship. I have a bit of an addictive personality, so I was not one of those people who could only check every few days or even once a day. I definitely was not on there doing all of the strange quizzes like "What kind of vegetable are you?", but I was feeling like I was on there way to much for my liking. I loved loved staying connected to good friends and family and socializing with people, but there is this whole other part of facebook that I hate. I hate that people who don't know you at all try friending you. What, do they just want to check out pictures to see if I got fat? I've had several incidences where I would deny a request for someone I didn't know very well, and they would try to friend me again (or 6 times in one person's case.... that's just creepy). I hate the fact that a person on facebook could get 100 happy birthday messages, but very few of those people if any would actually call the person in real life to say happy birthday. It all was starting to feel a little superficial to me. I was online chatting with people, some who I hardly know, and in real life, I had real friends and family that I sometimes feel like I neglect. Like I said, I wish I was one of those people who could just check every once in awhile, but since I wasn't able to and I was on too much, I decided to just deactive my account. It's been a few days, and I am doing good so far. I strangely feel like a recovering drug addict or something... with my drug of choice being facebook. When I told people I would be taking a break, a few said "You will be back within a few months. Everyone who I knows who tries to quit.. always comes back." Wow, thanks for the encouragement. Anywho... I will stop now before I blab on. I do not mean for this post to seem self righteous at all. I am probably still on the internet too much, but I am trying to take baby steps to try to live in the present more and enjoy my great life. What do you all think? Are you addicted? Have you tried giving up any part of technology...even for a while?


Taryn and Christian said...

You could be an inspiration for me. Facebook is, at times, WAY too much of a part of our lives. And yes, I agree that it's creepy when people you don't know want to be your friend. And sadly, I know that I'm one of those people who don't know you well, but through our blogs and facebook we have been connected. That being said, I'm glad that I've gotten to know my fellow Klamath-roots, because I'm finding out how much we all rock, and how a tiny little town like Klamath can really turn out some superb people! I wish we had gotten to know each other better while we were all still out there, but that is the past, and I'm happy for what I have now. A woman who gives me inspiration to live life to the fullest and cherish every moment. Thank you for sharing! Hugs!!!

Sam said...

Yay for you :) I've been thinking about cancelling our cell phone as well. I cancelled my facebook account for the exact same reasons! I'm glad I'm not the only one. It's now been a month or so :) You can do it!! Good luck!

Katie and Bryson said...

I read this post the other day and meant to comment but had to run...and in the past few days have found myself rating my own technology behavior. We have issues, technology and I. The first step is admitting you have a problem. There's no way I'm ready to commit to abandoning FB. I was, however, laughing out loud the other night when I texted my husband, who was sitting NEXT TO ME, to tell him it was time for bed. I figured that was the best way to get his attention because he was checking his email. And it was. So we've got focusing issues.
I'm also of the opinion, though, that guns don't kill people, people kill people. In other words, technology may introduce chaos into our lives, but with focus and direction we can use it as a tool. We are in control. It's just that everyone doesn't have that kind of focus. And obviously, I am one of the guilty.

Kara said...

It has been great hearing from you and other Klamath Falls peeps!
Thanks for the encouragement!
I believe there are many people out there who find a good balance, but it is just easier for me to simplify rather than fight the urge all of the time. I agree that there are many good things about technology, but I also believe that the way that many people choose to use technology and the internet can be harmful to themselves and their families. Good luck in finding your balance. It is a hard thing to figure out and establish what role technology will play in your family's life.

Margaret said...

I thought I had checked your blog, but I guess not.
So, some thoughts of mine. I go to our library every week and have on hold 25 items (the most you can have..) and I love it. Don't mind that I have 8.30 in overdue fines right now...but the library is awesome. They get all the new movies and books and wow, i just love it, as does Amelia. She loves the story time there. But like you, I think I use the library so much because we only have basic cable. Like the local channels and that is it. And there is nothing on TV really. I used to love watching shows, but then I'd always end up watching something that was on after my show that I didn't care about at all and then there goes my night. SO I like having only the basic channels. I can get the news, the office and 30 rock and that is all i need. Oh and when LOST is back on I'll watch that.
Phones, I love having a cell phone I must say...but I hate that people feel I should be accessible at all times. My dad just gave me his old iphone, so now it is even worse. People are like, I e-mailed you didn't you get it? I'm like when? They are like 20 minutes ago...hello! I hate that. There are times when I will say I'm not answering my phone until after 3 or something because I don't want to deal with it all.
Not on facebook...I too have addictive personality so I know it would be the death of me. And luckily my addictive personality never set in for my blog, so I'm okay. Come join me as the only other American not on FB.
I'm rambling. I have a cold and am out of it. But I love you and hope you have a good Thanksgiving.

Mumu Mama said...

Hi Kara,

Sharon here. I think you'd be really interested in reading this excellent article by Elder Bednar:

(“Things as They Really Are,” CES fireside for young adults, May 3, 2009).

Let me know what you think:)