I love technology (but maybe not as much as Ben). We are hooked up to the internet so many ways at our house including phones, ipad, computers and satellite t.v. I have some awesome apps on my phone that help me use my brain like Words with Friends and Ruzzle. I love listening to music without too much commercial interruption by using Pandora, I have the scriptures and other gospel resources at my fingertips with LDS Tools, Gospel Library, Mormon Channel and Indexing. I can read from my favorite books while sitting in my car waiting for children to be picked up by using my Kindle, Deseret Bookshelf, or listening through Audible. I take pictures of my kids and upload them to Instagram and Facebook with one click of a button and I rarely miss an e-mail because I get that on my phone too. My State Farm Pocket Agent saved me from getting a ticket the other day because of no proof of insurance and I save money at Hobby Lobby with my coupon app. I check my bank account from my phone and I can even watch movies from Netflix. All these apps were free plus many others I use on a regular basis. I absolutely love my phone and everything it does for me.
But in the same breath I hate it. I hate that I sometimes feel dependent on it. I wish I didn't feel like it is some sort of lifeline and I can't live without it. I try to keep it in my purse or leave it upstairs while I am downstairs, but eventually it finds me and I get caught up in my technology love affair.
Many times I feel like I have lost all my manners. I still remember when call waiting first became popular and I'd be talking to someone and another call would come in and the person I was talking to would say, "Hold on, someone else is calling," and put me on hold. That might be innocent enough but what I heard was, "someone more important than you is calling so I'll get back to you."
When I drive in the car with my kids, sometimes I pull out my phone (if they are driving, not me) so I can hurry and get some e-mails answered during my "down" time. If I'm driving, I tell them to pull out my phone and send a text for me. What a wasted opportunity while I have my kid's undivided attention to talk to them.
The other night, the whole family was upstairs watching t.v. and I think Ben counted 4 of us on phones, one on his ipod and one on the ipad. Talk about multitasking in the worst way...it's making me sick.
I think we've lost our ability to have real conversations one with another. Our attention spans are growing shorter because we have to be using our phone while having a conversation. It is frustrating me to death. But guess what? I still do it. I know how I feel when I'm trying to talk to someone and they keep checking their phone. I feel so unimportant, as if they are waiting for something better to happen because I'm not interesting enough. I'm completely guilty of it too. I'm not laying blame anywhere I don't already have personal guilt. I still have to remind my children that the kitchen table is a cell phone free zone. Why do I have to keep repeating myself? Because we are addicted.
My family is gonna hate me cause I'm cracking down. Starting today, there is going to be a new set of rules in our house. So, if you can't get me on my cell phone, Facebook, blog comment, e-mail, text or house phone, just come over to my house and visit with me and I promise I won't pull my phone out and look at it.
Out of curiosity, what are your technology rules at your house?