I know, I know. The last time I posted, I declared that I’d blog more often.Yet here it is, three months later and I’m just now making a post.
You see, I was taking a break from technology. That’s right – I made the very, very brave sacrifice of turning off all my electronics. I just wanted to get back to the way things used to be – no iPhones, email, text messages. While I was at it, I also stopped answering the phone and picking up my mail. If people didn’t want to talk to me in person or send letters by pony express, then I didn’t want that communication to intrude upon my precious time with my family.
Who am I kidding? If I were any more plugged in, I’d turn into a Cyberman. Thank goodness The Doctor will be around to save me, though, because I still have TV. No cable or satellite, true, but still – I have ample opportunities to view just about any program I wish, when I want to. That’s just the way I like it. Entertainment should be at my fingertips on an on-demand basis (so should chocolate, but I digress). Sure, there’s other forms of entertainment out there, but why discount one format? There are many people who gleefully pat themselves on the back for not ever watching television. They’re also the ones who are missing out on countless learning opportunities. There are so many valuable programs on tv. Refusing to watch them because of the medium doesn’t make you a better person. It just limits your horizons.
Sure, you can argue that using electronics limits your horizons too. There is an opportunity cost to almost everything you do. The trick is to make your choice wisely. I could stop using Facebook and rely on traditional methods of contact, but why? Who is to say that in 10 years or so, Facebook won’t be considered a “traditional” method of communicating, much like the telephone is now? Using technology has only expanded my horizons. I am in touch with more people on a regular basis than I ever would be if I relied on using a telephone to talk to people. I hate talking on the telephone. Not to mention, telephones are the dreaded “technology” that people are complaining about – they just don’t think about it that way because it’s something they’re used to.
Douglas Adams made this point quite eloquently in his essay, “How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet.” It’s all new and many of us don’t feel comfortable with it, so we shun it. Several people have shunned it to the tune of a book deal. Why?? What is the interest in ‘getting back to the way things used to be’? What is this ‘used to be’? I’m not the same person as I was when I was 10 – why would I want my technology to be the same?
I’m teaching my children some of the recipes my grandmother made. That doesn’t mean we’re using the same methods. We have electric mixers, convection ovens, oven mitts that keep your hand from burning, ingredients that I can buy in reasonable quantities at almost any hour of the day. You don’t often hear people giving up that, do you? No, it’s just easier to meeble about how you gave up technology and …oh, was that the sound of those same people giving up their cars? Giving up their appliances? Washing their clothing by hand? No? If you’re going to “give up technology” then give it ALL up. Otherwise, stop complaining and embrace the changes in your life. You’ve changed and so has the world around you. It’s ok.
Above all else, embrace moderation. You really don’t need your computer every moment of the day. Or your radio. Or the laundry. Or do you? Then maybe you should be in rehab or at a retreat, not writing your book.