Sunday, August 30, 2015

Common Sense Rule #3

Never say Never because Technology Moves On...

I am not a “digital native” although it feels that way as connected as I am. I remember learning how to make the dots race across the screen of our Macintosh computers in junior high and typing class in high school.

I also remember taking a typing class in college (my first time around) saying to myself: “Why the hell do I need to learn this? I am going to hand write everything for the rest of my life. Why would ANYONE want to mess around with this damn computer?!”

That was then. Twenty years later, I am the one my parents call if there are problems with the computer, they want to know how to do something, or where to find something. I tend to be more connected than my brother who is 10 years younger than me and, incidentally, IS a digital native (he was born the year CDs were introduced).

I’ve used a word processor, played games on a Tandy computer, learned the Internet (which, incidentally, opened to the public my sophomore year in high school) from the beginning, and enjoy social media. I like being connected and my control freak tendencies like being connected. 

Knowing how my addictive tendencies are, I knew that if I started buying technology for the kids, we'd all end up paying more attention to that then each other. I swore I wasn't going to do that, that I would limit the time the kids spend on their devices.

And then I bought an iPad. Next, was a phone for the older kids. Then iPods. Oh, and don't forget that second iPad and laptop. What about that gaming system...

And the technology war took over.

Many times I look up and we have the TV going with five people sitting in the same room all using their own personal devices, and wondered what is wrong with this picture?  Is this just my family?  Are we just that unconnected from each other or is this what many families look like today.

No. It's not just my family. It isn't every family. And it isn't even every day at my house. Does it mean we are unconnected? Nope. We still talk. We still tell each other stories. We still hug and say I love you.

Am I worried too much tech time is bad for my kids? Not really. Do I monitor every site they go to? Nope. I trust my kids and we talk about what they are watching, seeing, checking out. Technology moves on and they need to keep up with the times too. There is so much out there for them to learn. Who knows? One day they may be the next Steve Jobs.