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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting My Techie-Butt into Gear

Over the past 6 months I feel like I've been making friends with the Internet. I read more blogs, use more social media, Skype my sister while she does homework (even though we live in the same town) & I feel lost without my smart phone. I am using all of this technology for fun & for organization. Most of my everyday friends are not too techie, they have phones without Internet, they remind me of birthdays (rather than assume Facebook will do it), & they laugh when I reference Pintrist & say "what's that word you just said?" I have however, discovered the other type of person, the ones who dominated Google + a few days after it was launched, the ones who follow Internet pranks, who tweet daily, & who have apps in place of flashlights when camping.

What does my new found love of technology consist of?
Well, it turns out I love Twitter, where you can follow me @SpiceCreamCone (I seriously need some new followers). I also think Pintrist is a fabulous idea! I have yet to really get going on it but it satisfies that need to capture the amazing ideas I read in blogs in one place. For instance I saw this amazing planter someone made out of a pallet in Seal Beach about a year ago & then I recently saw something similar on the Internet. I was able to save the link in my Pintrist so the next time I see a pallet on the side of the road I can snag it & make this spiffy planter! (If you want an invite to Pintrist just let me know.) Most recently I've started being obsessive about my budgeting using Mint.com. It's so wonderful to have my account info in one easy to see place. I am also a big fan of keeping track of my Weight Watchers info online & there is a great app for tracking & figuring out points on my phone. Ok, so I may still have a hotmail, the same one I've had since high school, but at least I finally went through & deleted about a bazillion old emails & organized the rest into folders.

Even though I have been loving the Internet for so many things, it's a tortured relationship. Texting & cellphones are the bane of my existence when it come to being surrounded by teen girls. They text at dinner, while grocery shopping, while Facebooking, while walking & even while showering. Yes, Desiree used to actually put her cellphone in a Ziploc bag & text in the shower. Teens that have a phone with them when they are home alone or even in their room at night are virtually unsupervised with a bunch of friends. It's those "special friends" of the opposite sex who may be on the other end that are the ones I really worry about.
Oh yes the joys & dangers of Skype. Since I currently have friends & family all over the country I love Skype, but let me tell you, that little video camera hasn't always been used for good at my house. I am learning. I have parental controlled the hell out of my computer, I am setting limits with the phones (especially at dinner time & bed time), & I know all the passwords to Rachel's stuff but there is only so much you can do because its everywhere and let's face it, they are way better with technology than I am.

At work we have been discussing the culture change that this is creating for foster parents who aren't nearly as savvy about technology as the kids in their homes. The ones that have been parenting for years have to think about the way they set boundaries for teens in a whole new way. The thing is that they are not alone, it's all parents who are having to adjust & accept that we are in a new era.

But it's not just the kids I worry about, it's me too. When I walk my dog at night I can barely stand the thought of going out without an iPod or a phone. Once I get going & let the silence sink in a little bit I'm ok, I even kind of like it, but getting there is hard. I'm on the Internet all day at work, I make phone calls (hands free of course) or listen to music or the news on my commute to & from work & I really struggle to turn off the TV at night to read, pray, or do devotions. After spending all day at work on the computer I often gravitate to the computer again as soon as I get home. Some days I feel like I have ADD or early onset Alzheimer's only to realise that I am just all wound up inside. My brain is a jumble of info, & inevitably the relevant info gets lost in the mix because like my body, my brain & my soul, need a rest.

My friends & I had an interesting discussion about what it means to honor the Sabbath. I often see "rest" as tuning out, but the more I think about it, rest is something much more purposeful. I think it has something to do with putting aside distraction & experiencing actual, physical quiet. In addition I think Sabbath "rest" involves not only putting aside but putting on the act of worship. I think I need to do a little more of that for me & my household. I am thankful for the Internet & the rise of technology but it might do me good to be a little more Amish on Sundays. I have no idea how to do this. I really have no idea how to bring this to my household. I know God can help me with this & I want to try. I need to try.

2 comments:

Bethany said...

I'll be praying for you to have an Amish Sunday :) Nate & I have discussed having technology free days, but the temptations of instant information make it difficult. I've thought about canceling our internet and changing out smart phones for basic ones. I honestly think we would have a serious withdrawal problem... Especially since I am posting this from my phone while I lay in bed right now!!! ;) I love your blog by the way!

Brian & Mary Hand said...

I too enjoy my smart phone, macbook, Google Reader, facebook, etc . . . even though I've taken a (temporary or permanent) break from blogging. I too realize the amazing benefits of technology, but how much it can take over my daily life . . . and take me away from things I truly desire to get invest in instead . . . or real people I ought to be engaging with. So, I feel the love-hate . . . I really do.

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