Just Because · Lessons Learned

Moving Away From Technology.

Here on the Virginia peninsula, there is a debate arising on whether or not building a controversial transmission line across the James River this summer is a worthwhile investment. Dominion Virginia Power claims that the line is a good idea if the area does not want to experience rolling blackouts in 2017.  The transmission line is deemed necessary, due to record highs in electricity usage. In other words, people are using more power than what’s being generated.

I am hearing of this problem more and more. Internet servers are jamming because too many people are logging on at once. This is the world we live in.

After talking to my husband about the proposed transmission line, I responded by saying, “Good! We all need to experience a blackout or two to get back on track!”

What do I mean by that?

Moving Away From Technology (2)

I believe that a lot of us have fallen off the track in the sense that life is passing us by at an exponential speed, and we choose to sit and let it pass us by while we preoccupy ourselves with checking Facebook every five minutes, or uploading the newest picture to Instagram. Neither of these are bad in moderation – but when life is literally passing us by, we need a reality check.

The reality is that we would rather be on our phones than talk to the person next to us.

The reality is that we turn to social media in moments where a smile or nod could be the difference between a slow 15 minutes in the doctor’s office and having an enjoyable conversation.

The reality is that our kids notice that we spend so much time with technology – they notice that, in a way, we are choosing being a part of our digital worlds more than we are choosing to be a part of theirs. I don’t want that for my life, do you?

While I was out last week, I sat down with my daughter as we waited for our table to be called. I set my purse down on the bench, and as she sat on my lap she reached over and deliberately reached inside for my phone. She has seen it so much it takes her a split second to recognize what it looks like.

I do not want to be the mom who is on her phone the whole time she is out with her kids. I don’t want to be the person who can’t entertain herself in a waiting room without the aid of technology. If I proclaim that I want my kids to grow up using their imaginations and playing outside, then I need to set the example now –  if I am sending them the message that technology is so important to me, they will grow up thinking they should be consumed by it too.

Now, I’m not naïve. This is the technology age – my kids are going to grow up with this technology, and it will only continue to advance. Knowing this, we will permit them to access the iPad or a game system every once in a while. But I believe there is a huge difference in how you teach your kids to value technology as a perk, compared to a necessity.

That is why I am moving away from it all.

My husband and I have already implemented a “dead zone” time period spanning from the time we get home from work to the time our daughter goes to bed (or until we go to bed!). When I get home, my phone doesn’t leave my purse until I walk upstairs. After that, it goes on the dresser so that I only use it to check the time {because really, who wears a watch anymore?}. We have already felt a difference in the quality time we have with our daughter – and each other –in those couple of hours.

I recently made the decision to delete Facebook off of my phone as well. This makes it harder for me to log on every five minutes {for tons of two notifications}. For me, this was my major problem. I caught myself checking Facebook while my daughter sat next to me just waiting for me to turn her way. I never want to send the message that my phone, Facebook, technology, or anything of lesser significance, is more important to me than she is.

For some, technology may not be your vice. Maybe it’s being compulsive about organizing. Maybe it’s being able to watch your favorite show. Whatever the case, I challenge all of us to really begin experiencing LIFE – the life outside of what’s digital; the life that is right outside our door, literally!

Meet your neighbors, smile at someone in the grocery store, notice the people that live around you – that are dying for interaction.

There is a social network all around you looking for more friend requests!

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