Monday, April 23, 2012

T: Tuned into Technology

If you visit my email account you will see 1,321 emails.  Now, only about 3/4 are new.  I read, I just don't always delete.  I'm not going for some world record.  It's just that I've always had this love/hate relationship with technology. 
I said I didn't need a computer--until I got one.
I said I didn't need a cell phone--until I got one. 
I said I didn't need an i-Phone--until I got one. 
I said I'd never own a Kindle--until I got one as a present.
How did a girl who likes talking, holding the book, the beauty of an clean sheet of paper, and being in nature come to embrace blogging and texting?
Technology isn't an evil word. 
The A to Z challenge is the perfect example.  How much have you been inspired?  How many new friends have you visited?  I've been all over the Continental US, crossed into Canada, flown across the Pond, and visited Hawaii all in one evening.
There are thousands of examples of how technology helps us.  Just in medicine alone I could fill up twenty pages off the top of my head. Telemedicine, medical apps, digital x-rays. The list goes on and on. 
As writers, self-publishing and ezines bring publishing within reach in exciting ways. 
Our kids can't imagine a time without Nintendo DS, DVR, or text messaging. Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized socializing. Social Media is here whether we like it or not.
The thing we have to never lose sight of is humans create technology.  We have to be careful that it doesn't control us.

Some suggestions for using Technology Responsibly:

  • There's no conversation worth getting in a wreck over--STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING. Don't talk on the hands free or cell either. (boy, that's been hard for me!)
  • Don't start texting or answer your phone when someone's talking to you. It's rude.  In our office, your provider will walk out and see the next patient if you do this. There are exceptions to this but not many.
  • Plan how much TV you'll watch. Seriously, your life will end if you don't TiVo everything?  Turn off the TV and talk, especially to your children.
  • Really? We care if you're doing laundry?  Think about what you put on Facebook and Twitter. Be interesting. You promote yourself when you post.  
  • Speaking of posts,  don't ask your health care provider personal questions on social media.  Except for email there's no way to ensure privacy.  You can tell everyone your business.  We can't. Most offices should have a policy about this.  If your business doesn't, consider creating one, even if you aren't in health care.
  • Don't post/blog/text anything you can't say face to face.  Manners still apply.
  • Go outside.  Real dogs and flowers are much better than virtual ones and at least the flowers will smell better.  Real sunshine makes us feel better. Computer screens can trigger headaches.
  • Resist the urge for the newest.  New doesn't mean better.  Remember Apple, Microsoft,Blackberry, Sprint-- all those big companies are looking at the bottom line: they want to make money. Think about what you want and need before you buy. 
  • Limit video games.  I always have to set a timer for this.  And, it took a while to actually turn off Wii sports and Band Hero. One or two hours a day is enough.
  • Ask yourself: am I watching all the hundreds of channels so it's worth taking out a third mortgage to pay for it? (Since the 2nd mortgage is paying the cell bill)
  • Do you have an emergency phone call every time you get in the car?  STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING.   From all this you may think I've had someone effected by texting and driving.  Not personally.  And I'd like to keep it that way.
Technology keeps us connected. It opens the world to us. Every day there's something new. But no matter how smart our phones get they won't replace people. Technology isn't good or bad. It's just a thing, a tool to use.  People using it makes it good or bad. 
One of the best ways to use technology is to turn it off every once in a while.  You don't have to be available 24-7.  Staying connected is great bu we need our alone time, even if it's for five minutes.  Turn off the information and just Be in the Moment sometimes.
How do you use your technology responsibly?


  1. Lovely post! I like the idea of the way we get to travel around from our computers :)

    By the way I'm beating you email-wise. I have a couple of thousand unread emails (from online shops etc, not friends!) that I've collected over the years. I just don't have time for certain things!

    1. I am so glad to find someone more emails than me! It's like the junkmail that used to come to my house. At least I don't have to see it piled up in the recycle bin!

  2. I completely agree! Technology is fantastic and I'm quite excited by new inventions even if I can't afford one (!) but some people take it too far. It worries me that in the end we will all have forgotten how to communicate effectively face to face. Kids now ask each other out and dump each other via Facebook or text - in my day it was considered bad to even do it on the phone if you had the choice of doing it face to face. Your point of not saying on text what you wouldn't say to someone's face is so valid too - there's a lot of that going on. I despair of the next generation - I really worry that interpersonal skills will be lost. Great post - sorry about the rant! ;-) LindaK

  3. Agree! Stop texting & driving, stop texting & walking. If you're texting text, step aside, get out of the way! Small rant. Thanks :)
    #29 following

  4. It's never ranting if you're making a valid point.

  5. Great etiquette for the new world we live in! It's funny how so many people don't see themselves as being rude or irresponsible. This explosion in social media is great in a lot of ways, but it can't (or at least shouldn't)take the place of good ol' personal interaction. Great post!