I just spent the past hour typing up my broken heart, then cutting, pasting it to a word doc, and saving it for another day. I can do that living in a digital world. I was beginning to talk about the positive and negative aspects of living in a digital world, when my broken heart jumped in and reminded me of some very hard things that I can’t share right now. I wrote them out and that is enough for the moment. I am still waiting for that counselor to call me back. I think I will have to work around that and pursue something else.
I grew up in a very analog world. I was in high school when the internet came to our home. It was a great new world of new things we could do. I could write emails to people, do research for my school projects, and now was required to type up my final essays. Even then my ADHD died a little every time we logged onto the internet. I would begin the dial up process, go work on chores, help my mom or brother with something, then be able to do whatever it was on the World Wide Web. I was allowed 30 minutes a day on the internet and an hour total on the computer. At times I felt this was so unjust, but as a whole, I really didn’t care, I still had things to do anyways. I loved and still love to read and that is how I enjoyed most of my evenings after school. I would sit down and watch an hour of TV with my parents, get ready for bed and read for another hour before falling asleep. Life was simple, my parents made it look easy.
I was 20 when I worked at the hospital, I had my own pager and loved my job. I started as a patient transporter and moved onto working with the radiology film department. I also had a Nokia cellphone, but used my landline telephone most. Minutes were expensive and there was not unlimited anything at that time. My cell phone was for emergencies or when I was away from home anyways. When I was pregnant with my first child I could play silly games on the internet and the Sims 2. This was my little world. I kept house, took care of my dog and waited for the arrival of my child. I could see how easy it was to loose oneself in games and the internet. When I was overwhelmed or sad I would get lost in games or the internet. Thankfully, I was able to still get things done around the house and as Mr. D grew; the busier I became as he began to crawl and walk and explore his world. Everyday was a new learning adventure.
Then I became a single mom and while that had its challenges I was able to put myself through long distance learning. I could work on pictures that I took, I could access so many things digitally that I could entertain myself at anytime. When I got my own place I had a great balance of work, school, personal time, and raising my son.
When this analog woman got married to a digital man, my world changed in ways I was exceedingly unhappy about. That is a story for another day. What I will share today is that too much technology is a bad thing. When Technology becomes a central focus in the home many other things are lost. I want things to change, but in reality without the support of the other parent, these things will always feel like a battle.
I am fortunate to know a life before technology, I raised my oldest this way until seven years ago, and now it is an unbelievable force to reckon with in our home. I am still trying to solve that problem and I know what really needs to happen for that change.
In my personal experience, the digital generation I have experienced in my home has lost touch with humanity, perseverance, hard work, self- entertainment, strong ethics, personal time-management, priorities, and focus. It is not just in my home but in the real world too. I just had to buy my kindergartner headphones for school. Again, that is a thought for another day.
How do you battle this struggle in your home?