Monday, August 2, 2010

Technology Overload?

I had the very rare opportunity to go to Disneyland this weekend with my family as a way to celebrate Steve's 42nd birthday. We weren't able to do too much since he is on call during the work week so it's hard to really plan anything on his actual birthday cause we never know if he'll be called into work or not. So we planned a weekend celebration since we haven't been in about 4 years.

Steve is truly worth it since we honestly needed a break from the stresses of everyday life that can really overwhelm you at times. This was a nice change of pace.

The one thing that I kept seeing over and over while we were there while people are standing in line is that rather than talk to the people they came with, they were busy with their blackberries, Iphones or Ipods to really be with people.

People were busy responding to emails, sending text messages or just playing games on their devices while we were waiting in line. Waiting in line for rides, food or just meandering around the park.

It really upset be because it seemed like while people were physically present they were not really there at all. They were wishing to be someplace else with some one else. Why can't these people take a break from technology when it comes to spending time with people any longer?

Have we really moved away from relationships in return for a virtual one?

If I had to base that on what I saw on Saturday, that would be a resounding yes! And yet people wonder why they are so stressed out, taking prescription pills more than every before, and can't sleep at night. They can't turn themselves off. What is it that is worth missing just being with someone anymore? Would these people be any more likely to put their devices away if they were with the ones they were emailing, texting and calling?

I wondered why most of them were really there??? To appease the kids that they simply don't have time for anymore out of guilt? Do you honestly think your child isn't aware of your lack of attention for them at that moment?

We take our phones into the park for emergencies only. We take no calls, send any emails or text messages while we are there. We've been lucky enough to actually need to use a phone when someone has fallen ill or had a serious accident before.

Even our oldest daughter spent the entire day, well at least 80% of it, texting her friends. When we asked why, she told us, "Well I'm just telling them what I am riding, how long the wait is, and what's going on?"

Can this not wait??? How often can we all be at one place just to be with one another to share the day of being a family? Like I said, it's been 4 years since we did this last? Steve worked 95% of the time for the last two years and with people being sick and in the hospital, this was a rare moment.

It saddens me to see people forfeiting personal communication whether it be face to face or even over the phone anymore. With text messaging and emails, its not necessary any longer to stay in touch. Where does that leave us any longer when it comes to making relationships work??

Here's hoping for a solar flare to wipe technology out for a few hours or perhaps a couple of days to remind people just how dependent we have become on instant satisfaction and the things we are sacrificing in lieu of real physical relationships any longer.

I for one, am taking our kids phones away the next time we plan on spending time together as a family! That text, email or phone call can wait. People need to know that they are important, more important than we let them know anymore!


Divine Mrs D said...

Smart phones drive me crazy. My dad needs one for work, but when we're there, my family is all together!! We talk. My dad puts it away and, technically, my husband and I can't make phone calls. All the better!! I agree with you though. It's getting a bit crazy with the technology.

Rita said...

I made the remark that our son does not call us any more. The remark was made that if we got texting, we could stay in better contact "because that's what the younger generation does, not call." Well, this one is not going to get texting, I don't think, because if I can't talk to you, I can e-mail you. That's what I have my phone for, "to talk to you when I call!" I think it has been a detriment to our nation. I applaud you for taking their phones away when it is family time.

Stacey said...

I agree with you, take their phones away during family time.

We are going to end up like the movie Wall E!

Mari said...

I agree with you. I've noticed signs at checkout counters and teller windows asking people not to be on the phone while checking out. That just seems rude to me.
I don't get the whole texting thing either - but then I'm "old!"

Just Breathe said...

It's disturbing isn't it? I get so frustrated when I see that. My phone is for emergency most of the time. Once in awhile I make a call but very seldom does that happen. That is why I haven't wanted a fancy phone with all the bells & whistles. It's a sad world.

Elle Bee said...

Amen Kat! I think we all spend way too much time drowning in technology and missing the joys and blessings that are all around us in God's creation.

tina said...

TrapperDude and I found ourselves doing this without even realising it. SO now, when we go anywhere, we have our phones, they go on silent or vibrate (this in case one of the kids have a 911) and we check them once in awhile. No texting, no making phone call unless absolutley needed.
I grew up with out seatbelts, mandatory helmets, cell phones and the food police...I survived and I think sometimes of just wishing things were back about 30 years or so...ok, maybe 50-60, I like vintage things :)

LV said...

I am with you 100%. Technology is great in its place, but it is taking us over. I hate people with phones in their ears all the time. What did they do years ago? I do not have one. They are nice when needed but a nuisance otherwise.

Denise said...

Amen sis, amen.

Just Be Real said...

I really do not use my cell much. Basically emergencies. So glad Kat that you were able to get away and relax a bit. Blessings.

Girly Muse said...

Great point! Seeing this EVERYWHERE.

Had a semi truck almost run me over on our road trip the last couple days. My husband looked at the driver and said, "He's TEXTING!"