Sunday, August 22, 2010

A challenge against technology

Tonight my family and I went into Lowe's hardware and before I was even able to get out of the car, a man, standing at what I assume was his own car, challenged me to leave my phone in my car and pay attention to my kids. He stated he had seen me checking it as I was getting out and, obviously, he has strong feelings about the subject.

I have to say my first feeling was of defensiveness, which I think is the way most people in my place would have reacted. However, I am not one to shy away from taking a hard, critical look at myself. I told him that I have been known to leave it and thanked him for the info. My husband came to my defense and said that I am not one to be married to my phone.

A year ago, this stranger would have been right on, possibly. I may be seeing myself a little harshly but I do believe I was preoccupied more by email, Facebook and my writing position at then. Now, or at the very least, the last couple of months, I have had a definite drop in my usage of technology. Possibly not on purpose so much as a burning out. I know several people who state that they are tied to a computer all day for work and the last thing they want to do when they get home is to look at a computer screen- whether it be a desktop, laptop or iPhone. 

The last year for me has been tied to a computer screen of some sort. I've worked at writing as their Fort Worth Christian Living Examiner; I've held a major volunteer position at my son's school which had hours that, at times, were very competitive to a full-time job and I've helped plan my 20th high school reunion in a six month time span. All of these led me to put my attention away from my kids and family more than I should have. I'm not sure I would have changed much of it if I could go back and do it again simply because I believe that God led me to each of those positions. I believe it was all part of a time and season for my life; one in which I was meant to gather needed skills and experience but also in which I either ministered to others and/or impacted their lives.

This time and season of my life is shifting to another- one in which my focus goes back to my family. I believe it was coming on naturally for me even before we made the final decision to move to Colorado. My husband and I have had many discussions on how God might put something in our hearts or in our paths that might help direct us to where He wants us to go. A break from technology is one of them for me. It has been a full two days since I last turned on the computer and that was only to put together a slide-show for my son's school event I had planned. As for my phone, I will log onto Facebook about 2-3 times a day to see what is going on. Because I'm accessing FB from my phone means I spend much less time on the site. My phone pings to alert me when an email comes in which relieves the desire to continually check for new messages. All this actually allows me to stay off the computer and even mostly off the phone except when I'm actually using it as a phone and thankfully, that isn't often.

So, I suppose that in response to this stranger's challenge to me, I can say that I am on the right track. I may not be completely un-reliant on technology but I'm not as much as I was in the past. In fact, I've had to be careful in the past several months. I've left my phone on three separate occasions and not realized it until I went to call someone. I can live with that for now.


  1. Good for you putting your technology aside! I think we get too wrapped up in it, and I believe that it's leading us to lose our ability to interact with the world around us effectively.
    Also, I don't think I would have left my phone in the car on the advice of some random stranger, but I WOULD put it on silent so I didn't hear a beep or ring and be tempted to shift my focus from the kids or task at hand, to check it. (because I DO tend to check it as soon as I hear the message tone)

  2. I'm the same. As soon as I hear a text or email come in, I automatically pull it out to look at it. Only when I'm in the middle of major plans on an event do I need to respond in a timely manner so most of the time, that automatic response is over-kill.

    But, we live and we learn. Family is definitely more important than any technological device or even work, etc.

    And you are SO right, in my opinion- technology has KILLED personal contact and is working its way to severely damaging our ability to communicate in a grammatically correct and polite manner.