Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Not the Internet's Fault

I love my technology.

For the record, I don't have a smart phone (though, I'd love one if I had unlimited funds to spend on it:). But I do have my laptop, Brad and I both have cellphones, and of course we have the DVR hooked up to our TV. These are things I like.

Last week there was a lot of media attention about some books that came out written by moms who had cut off technology in their families. Our media is so black and white that a debate immediately started up: Technology: yay, or nay?
Why does life have to be so all or nothing with people? I know the "all in moderation" response isn't as exciting, but doesn't it make more sense?

Here's the thing: This technology has made me a more informed mom. It has inspired me to save money and given me some of the tools to do so. It has connected me with moms from all over, where I can feel like I'm a part of a community that can be supportive and helpful.

One example happened this morning. Last week a girlfriend told me she heard that the autism-vaccine scare has been debunked. Apparently the guy who published his research back in 1998, falsified facts and information that helped to prove his theory. Since then other studies have been done - a lot of other studies - and none of them found the connection that his did. But it was too late. Moms all over were making the powerful decision to skip the vaccines, and promoting this to other moms.
So the other day, my girlfriend shares this new information with me and I am fascinated. I've never completely bought into the connection, but certainly with a little boy about to start a significant series of shots, there is that little voice in the back of my head...wondering. But because I am "connected," I hop on my internet connection this morning, look up the topic "causes of autism" and quickly find a number of articles explaining what happened. Furthermore, I can find more than one source - to be sure that this isn't some random suspicion, but is in fact, corroborated by more than one reputable source.

Technology makes me happy.

My favorite thing, though, is probably the relationships that have been built and strengthened. I am pretty sure I would NOT be as close to my long distance sisters-in-law if we didn't have email and cellphones so handy and affordable. We talk regularly, share recipes, plan trips, and find common ground that you just can't cover when everyone is home for a holiday now and then. I thank God for these relationships daily, and for the tools that make them happen.

People need to be straight about things. The internet should not be handled carelessly. Family members have to make each other accountable for the content they are viewing and the amount of time they are spending in front of their screen. It's about having goals and priorities for your family. We all need to identify what those are and then take them seriously. It's not the computer's fault. It's us. Build some boundaries.

I'll get off my soapbox now. :)

1 comment :

  1. How about a soapbox about the Chinese moms are superior moms thing (:


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