Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Trance Inducing !

Man, DCMM has been giving me some good fodder for blog posts recently.

Not only is ElaineMM my friend, but she's also a great writer. Her recent post on DCMM really gave me pause. In case you don't want to click over, the brief summary is about the influence of technology in her life and the negative impact it can have. Ironically, while I was reading it, I could hear a voice in my peripheral hearing but I couldn't focus on it since I was reading on the Internet. Imagine my surprise when I looked away and saw my almost three year old standing RIGHT.NEXT.TO.ME. trying to get my attention.

As my friends Laurie and Marya say, "Put another quarter in the therapy jar !"

Like Elaine, I work part-time and need to be somewhat available on my "days off" in return for the privelege of being able to work part-time. However, I rarely get called by my office. My demon with technology is purely personal.

For the most part, Mr. Quimby and I make a conscious effort to reduce the negative influence of technology in our lives. Our kids watch 20-40 minutes of an age appropriate DVD each evening, they play no games on the computer but are occasionally permitted to watch a video of one of their friends on a blog or YouTube. I pride myself on my old, outdated cell phone and often refuse to reply to people's text messages, instead I call them (but I'm coming around on that one. Texting is awfully handy !) We have the basic-est cable you can have, which unfortunately is a lot more than we need since this HD switch (but Lordy I love all those episodes of 19 Kids and Counting !)

But, oh my lord, this darned computer ! When I have a lot to get done around the house, I turn my computer all the way off. I have to - otherwise I get sucked in. I quickly check my personal e-mail (which is also the e-mail I use for all my community "work" too) and before I know it, 25 minutes has passed, dinner isn't ready, the dogs need to go out, and some mess has been made somewhere because the children were not being supervised properly. There are times I feel that the computer is my arch-nemesis and I literally have to hold myself back to keep from walking into the back bedroom where we keep the computer.

E-mail, blogs, facebook, and yes, message boards about Gymboree clothing - they all get ahold of me.

Being aware of your behavior is the first step, right ? A few months ago I drew up a contract that outlined when I would let myself get on the computer. It was still daily use, but it put the computer in the right priority level for my family. Over the last 2 months, I fell away from it, but with summer upon us and my kids getting older EVERY.DARN.DAY it's time to re-commit to the kind of life I want to lead. A life where I am fully present when my kids are around and awake and NOT one where some square screen draws me into a trance-like state.


Stacy said...

It's hard. When I was little, I remember having to beg my parents for a chance to watch tv, and then fight with my brother to pick. After we decided which channel to watch, we'd scamper behind the couch and turn the knob to move the antenna.

And now? I can view pics on my tv, post to facebook on my phone and call people on my computer. Life has changed a lot since I was a kid. I was thrilled when I went to college because they had cable! Of course, I didn't own a tv so it didn't matter, but I could watch MTV down the hall ;)

I just remind myself that time has marched on and I'm working on figuring out how to find the right balance. For me, I think the biggest change is that the computer is where most of my friends live. As a kid, I talked on the phone for an hour a day on the computer works for me.

Now, keeping my kids from being glued to the screen? That's a lot harder!


Laurie said...

I'm right with you on the texting. I never do it...or at least didn't until about a month ago when a friend began exlusively texting me and I really wanted to be available to get her messages. Then, my mom nad sister and MIL started texting me...what the heck! Phone ladies, please.

The Lowe said...

I'm a texter! Been texting for 15 years. I am not a talker on the phone.

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