When Everyone Around You Is Staring at Their Device

a year ago

So I noticed tonight just how "normal" it is for everyone to be so hooked on technology. I was sitting watching a movie I was streaming from Netflix, playing on Facebook on my phone, while also completing a review on my laptop. I looked over at my husband, who was either perusing Craigslist or watching some random YouTube video.

My 11-year-old son was in his room watching a streamed movie and either playing on his Nintendo DS or his Kindle. My 5-year-old daughter was playing in her room with my 1-year-old daughter, and they were watching an old VHS tape but also playing on their DS and LeapPad! Wow. We all were doing multiple things and all tech-based.

When did we become so dependent on technology? Don't get me wrong, I love it. It makes life easier, more interesting and fun. But I also miss the days of my childhood when there was less technology at hand.

It's funny now, when I tried to play a board game with my kids yesterday, they groaned at first. They wanted to play Minecraft or watch their movie. But we played because I forced them. And we had a blast. Imagine that.

We played 2 games, at least 2 or 3 times, each. We laughed, we talked and they forgot about their games and movies. The only technology we used was the couple of pictures I took of us playing each game. I know, I know. If they couldn't use technology, I shouldn't have either. But I wanted to capture the moment and show them we could have fun without all that.

Image: Mike Fleming via Flickr via Creative Commons license

Literally every day is jam-packed with technology in our house. As a blogger and reviewer and just plain social butterfly, I'm also on the Internet on my phone or tablet. I do make sure I make time for playing and giving each child attention, but when they are busy, so am I. I've gotten really good at multitasking with my phone or tablet.

I am still not sure if I should be proud of how often and in which ways I'm good at that. But it's a huge part of our lives. We are never going back to the dark ages anyway, so we should just learn to love it.

I guess my worry is that even though I make a big effort to make sure my family and I really, personally connect and make time for doing things without our technology, how can I make it important in my kids' lives? Someday soon, there could be a complete loss of any activity without technology. It's sure heading that way.

I mean some of it is good. Some of it helps us be better workers, better parents, better to ourselves. But I also think too much technology has made us distant, anti-social, at least in person, and less attached to the real, physical world, unless you are trying to get in touch with the real, physical world for some tech reason such as to take the best pictures to show off on Instagram or Facebook.

It seems technology is behind most of our free actions. Can we ever come back from that? Do you think we will ever be able to live without technology?

What are your opinions on technology? How do you make time for your family? Do you have "no tech" nights?

Ashley Roggow

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