Tuesday, May 22, 2012

@ Balance

This past Sunday I sat in a class discussing Tweens and Technology.  
Yeah, I took this picture with my smart phone during class.

Several people shared stories about how they loved being in a cabin during their summer vacation far away from the internet and television.  Others discussed their disdain for texting and tweeting.

I was sweating and fidgeting in my seat, trying not to check my Twitter feed or see if anyone sent me a text.  I felt ashamed that my idea of vacation meant never being anywhere without air conditioning and WiFi.

"I feel the need to defend technology," I sheepishly said, as my face turned bright red as it does whenever I speak in front of a group.  Or whenever I feel any kind of emotion, or step out into the sunlight, or drink a sip of wine, or have too much caffeine, well you get the idea...I'm very fair skinned and turn red a lot.  "There is nothing wrong with Tweeting."

One Christmas when I was a kid we got a computer.  It was the "family gift" and really one of the only gifts that year because, come on, a computer back in 1985 was a pretty f-ing big deal.  

I was mesmerized by the keyboard.  "Buttons!," I screamed when we all tore off the wrapping paper.

Many a night I spent playing department store on that keyboard.  Funny enough, I never even turned the computer on for that game.  I watched reruns of my favorite show Dallas while pretending to swipe one of my dad's old credit cards on my fancy keyboard/fake cash register.  Yeah, I was 9.  It was the life.

I spent a lot of time watching TV as a kid.  A lot.  And now I spend a lot of time on the computer and my phone and I can often be heard muttering "what an awesome time to be alive!"  If I could, I would move into the Apple store and soak up all the bad ass technology and just love it.  Hell I'd even move into a Best Buy or RadioShack, yup, I love it all that much.

But as I sat listening to my friends at church give statistics about kids and how much "screen time" they will have and the cyber bullying they may encounter, it all felt uncomfortable.

It's a different world now. Sure it might not have been extremely healthy for me to be watching JR womanize his way through the city of Dallas when I was 9, but I was safe in my home with my family.  I wasn't talking to anyone.  I wasn't texting or tweeting anyone.

I still refuse to demonize technology altogether and still won't vacation anywhere without WiFi. But, I will pay attention.  I will set boundaries for myself and my kids.  

For someone who watched so much TV as a kid, I don't feel completely ruined and do already limit my kids. There are not and will never be TVs in my kids' bedrooms, much to their chagrin.  Still not sure about when to get them a cell phone.  None of them have music devices or mobile video game systems.  But that works for us, now. It's not for everybody.

There were some great take aways from the class this past Sunday.  Here they are:

1. It is our job to "prepare our children for their future, not our past."  

2. Balance is the key.

3. We are the parents, we make the rules.

4. There is no single right way to manage technology in your home.

So I am trying this whole balance thing.  I don't check my phone as much when I'm with my kids and I realize I don't have to tweet every moment.  

But I will still shamelessly plug my Twitter account, yeah that's right....follow me @AngelaYBlood.

I'm working on the balance, which is key.

No comments:

Post a Comment