I was bawling like a baby. My kids wondered what the heck was wrong with me. Here I was, sitting in my family room with my four grown children looking at videos from their childhood. I don’t know about you, but there is something about videos, hearing those sweet little voices that brings a mother to tears. Video cameras are just one of the many great technological advances that keep memories close and children closer.
When I was growing up, the Polaroid camera was the greatest. To think that you could take a picture and within minutes, the fully developed photo was in your hand. No schlepping down to the local drugstore to get the film developed. It was great. That was then. Today phones take beautiful pictures and video cameras are able to create professional films that have catapulted the Steven Spielberg’s of the world into a flourishing film career.
When I was a young adult and away from home there was no Skype, no texting. Simply a call once a month when I could afford it. When I came home for visits, chats around the dinner table weren’t interrupted by friends texting me. The closest I ever came to something like that was call waiting. As a teen, I thought that was the greatest invention ever. For my kids, group chats, Facebook and more ensure that connections are constant.
But as great as all of these advances are in technology, is it too much?
Are we too connected? Here are some things I miss.
• Going on vacation without the worry of coming back to thousands of emails and numerous voicemails.
• Getting up in the morning and reading the paper without the distraction of emails and urgent text messages.
• Talking to my kids on the phone and imagining their facial expressions and fully appreciating their beautiful faces when they finally came home.
• Writing letters and receiving them. Thank-you’s today are mostly emails, I miss handwritten letters.
• Eating dinner without my kids’ subtlety checking their phones.
• Hearing my kids chat on the phone with friends. Now all I can hear are texting taps.
• Going out to eat and having my kids undivided attention.
So what is the upside of technology? Plenty.
• I can stay connected with my children no matter where they are. It really is a blessing, especially if they’re out of the country.
• I can connect with a long lost friend that I might not have found had it not been for the internet.
• I’m able have more time to hit my writing deadlines since there is no snail mail involved.
• Someday, when I’m a grandmother, if my kids don’t live nearby I will be able to stay connected to my grandchildren regardless of where they live.
• I can stay on top of politics and breaking news with more accurate and up to date information.
• I feel safer with a cell phone knowing if I get lost, someone is just a phone call away.
• I learn something new every single day.
For me technology is a double-edged sword. As a blogger, I wouldn’t have that outlet without technology. The article that you’re reading right now wouldn’t be as accessible. But make no mistake, there are times when I feel completely overwhelmed staring at my inbox with hundreds of messages.
However, beyond all these advances, I have learned that nothing is more important than face-to-face conversations. I also have learned that making one day technology free is not a bad thing for tomorrow morning the inbox will still be full and social media will go on with or without me. And I am never further than a text away from my children.
How has technology changed your life?