This and That

Are You Prepared?

Posted on: August 5, 2011

I have a fear of technology. Yes I realize this is an odd thing for someone who blogs and tweets to say but it is true. It took me forever to start shopping online, banking online, and participating in social media sites. It takes me a while to warm up to new technology because I fear what would happen if it all collapsed, I fear the safety aspect of having our whole lives online, and I fear what it’s doing to our children.

Did you ever see that movie with Elizabeth Shue called “The Trigger Effect ” from 1996.  It’s OK if you didn’t, it wasn’t very good.  But in the movie the whole world’s electronic system collapses. No elecrticity, no cell phones, no credit card use, and no ATMs.  People couldn’t get their prescriptions because all medical records  were online.  So what happened…everyone went nuts.  Of course it was an exaggerated nuts but it does beg the question do you have money on hand for that kind of crisis?  What if debit cards stopped working? What if you couldn’t get medicine for your sick baby because the pharmacy computers were down and didn’t have your records?  How would you react? Maybe you would go nuts too?  Of course I am describing the worst case scenario but my point is our whole lives are online, on machines, and machines break all the time. I’m just saying…it makes me a little hesitant sometimes.

Another thought that always crosses my mind is the “big brother” factor. Total conspiracy theory mentality about the government watching our every action online. I am fully aware that my life is totally uninteresting and “big brother” has better things to do than track my life.  But the point is they could.  Our whole lives are online and it’s so accessible, so easily viewed, and so easy to follow. It makes me wonder…is it a good idea?

And lastly, I worry about the affect of technology on our children. Kids are learning to type before learning to write. But they aren’t typing in complete sentences. Facebook, Twitter, texting have started the habit of abbreviated words, using only slang words or phrases. It has become so common place with our youth that they can’t spell real words. Do kids even know how to write a good old fashion letter? I bet some kids don’t even know what mail is? Everything just comes through the computer. Technology also creates a problem with instant gratification. Of course our whole culture has this problem but technology is so instant, so automatic that kids don’t learn patience anymore. Recently my husband got an Apple TV and now all my son’s favorite shows are recorded on it. So whenever he wants to watch Mickey Mouse he can. Unlike when I was a kid and would have to wait for it to be eleven o’clock before my favorite show was on. Though an elementary example, this demonstrates our kids lack for nothing through technology which I think robs them of valuable skills (like writing complete sentences) and learning vital qualities (like patience).

Again I realize I am a hypocrite saying this….as I write my blog on my laptop, my kids watch their favorite show on the Apple TV, and my hubby is reading a book on the Kindle. But I’m just saying we need to be careful with technology. It’s great, it helps us in so many ways, it advances our world and our understanding of it. But we need to be careful how much we rely on it. Technology is just machines and machines break all the time.

Are you prepared if it completely broke down?


1 Response to "Are You Prepared?"

I am also nervous about all the information that is out there about each one of us. Another picture to make you nervous is Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman – my husband (who is a retired radar scientist) said that the technology in this movie is just a fraction of what can be done/tracked. But I also see the upside of this technology and it is indeed a balancing act. I agree that the children need to know the basics – know how to write, know how to do math without a calculator and play with toys that don’t make noises, talk back or even move – let their imagination develop. There is nothing better than going in the back yard or park and playing/running/hiding etc. I organized these thought while on a power walk, a shuffle playing motivating music while I monitor my Garmin watch which tells me how far I have walked, my current pace, my average pace, etc. Hey I already know how to read, write, and do math without a calculator (although a calculator is easier) : ) Great blog – keep it up.

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