I find it interesting that my kids, the rising generation of kids have never lived without the internet, never lived without 24 hour a day access to friends, to information, to everything online. I told my kids one day that I remember when google was invented. They at first didn’t believe me. But then my husband tells them he remembers when color TV’s came out! There is so much of technology that is so new for a huge demographic of people, not that we haven’t adjusted and adapted, but that it really didn’t even exist early in our lives.
I have been thinking lately about how convenient a number of these technologies have made our lives. I love having my banking at my fingertips, especially the older my children get, and transferring money. I love that I don’t really have to worry about paying all the bills, I can have them automatically paid and I just pay the one credit card bill. Some people even run all their bills directly through their bank accounts so they don’t even have to pay those. I like getting the credit card points so I can use those for other things. I also like being able to look up information when I think about it, the world at our fingertips almost.
But, there are a bunch of other things I dislike about all this technology. Way too much time is spent on devices rather than in person. I go out to eat dinner with my husband and watch other people sitting at the same table looking at their devices rather than having a conversation with the person sitting across from them. And the games, oh my goodness, I am shocked by how many adults spend hours a day playing games on their phones. Almost any other use of their time would be more productive. I sat by a class one day in Church and one of the kids was really struggling sitting still. Finally she turned to me and asked what kind of games I had on my phone and if she could play one. I told her I didn’t have games on my phone and she literally did not believe me. She was about 8 years old and her solution to sitting still was playing games on an electronic device.
Schools are going more and more to technology based learning. I don’t mind it so much for college level, in fact I have done quite a number of online courses, both college and continuing education type classes and really enjoy the flexibility of doing them on my schedule, at home. But I think for elementary and middle school, and I even feel that for the majority of high school, those classes should be in person. There are a select few kids in those age ranges that have enough self discipline to get their work done and keep up with the pacing the class may set, but most kids I don’t feel like are equipped to do so. I know just within my own home I have 1 that does really well with online, 1 that can get it done with a little bit of monitoring from me, and 2 that really struggle with the online learning programs. 2020 was not a great school year for those who struggle, and now, we are seeing the results of online schooling and the kids across the board struggled and got behind.
This gets me to my thoughts the last few days. I never used to worry about having a phone when I left the house to go somewhere. I rarely got on my computer and when I did, it was for something specific. Is all this technology necessary that we keep it with us all the time, that we can’t leave home without it, that some even have panic attacks when they are separated from their technologies. The suicide rate among teens and young adults is on the rise, dramatically. I know there are many causes for this, but I feel like technology plays a big part. And again, not that I think all technology is bad, but we start kids off so young, no boundaries in most homes, no rules of engagement so to speak, and expect them to just figure out how to navigate both the internet and real life, the life outside technology without any help. And people are struggling. Our ability to communicate outside technology is declining. Our ability to cope with everyday struggles is declining. People’s ability to work in a field of industry that doesn’t require a desk and a computer is declining. People’s willingness to work, physically work, even their ability to control their bodies in a productive way physically is declining. I watch my kids work for their dad and all the things they do, and watch others, in the same field, who think that’s what they want to do, who are much older and supposedly able, get washed out in a few short months because they’ve never been required to do any physical or manual labor in their lives and they just can’t cut it.
There is a need for technology, I do think it has it’s place, but I don’t think it’s front and center like the world has made it out to be. Am I going to give up my smart phone for a flip phone? Probably not. But just like I got rid of my games because they waste time, I know there are aspects of my phone that are also wasting my time that I could remove. Much of what I do, trying to make money revolves around computers, my website, my Etsy shop, my YouTube channel. But I don’t have to spend my time on there scrolling or mindlessly wasting time either. I am grateful for the opportunity to look at how I spend my time, and how I could better utilize my time. This life has so much to offer that has nothing to do with technology or being online.