As I sit here on my MAC Notebook, which is on my desk, in front of my MAC Desktop…and next to me sits my Blackberry Bold (or is it the Tour, or the whatever-else-brands-they-have), I wonder if technology is a good thing or a bad thing? My to-do list is never done. I need a to-do list for my to-do list. I have so many iPhoto projects ½ done – books I have made on both iPhoto and Snapfish – photos I constantly debate whether to send to Flicker or Costco or just post on Facebook…so much technology, so many projects, so many decisions, so little time = nothing gets done. Who can keep up with it??!!!! And then my husband comes home and tells me he’s doing something (a “technology experiment” he calls it) called 4 square. He goes places (Starbucks, the gym, etc.) and “checks in”. Other people go places and “check in”, and it’s a way of god knows what (to let people you know, know where you are at all times??!!!!) Creepy! That is just WAY TO MUCH INFORMATION for people who have WAY TOO MUCH TIME.
Me? I’m just trying to write thank you notes. Remember those? I have thank you notes with my daughter’s name, thank you notes with my son’s name (oh, by the way, my daughter is 5 months and my son is 3 years – but, yes, they have personalized stationary) and thank you notes with my name, mine and my husband’s names…. No, I don’t have them with our dog’s names, but I may as well. I owe thank you notes for my son’s birthday (back in June), my daughter’s birth (further back than June), my birthday…I mean come on! Can’t someone call Amnesty on thank you card writing and give us all a break? I need UPS packages to send all my thank you notes because the same people are getting all of them! Or could I just send an email? No, that is where technology does not help. But you get my point. And some people wonder why they never get a phone call. Should they call my home phone, cellphone, text me, email me, Facebook me?! Bottom line is, they have to STALK me just to get in touch with me. There are so many ways to reach me, yet no way at all. I’m too damned busy doing nothing.
Ok, you guys get my point. Everyday I think to myself “I just want to be a Mom today. I want to be fully present for my kids”. And then something happens and takes me away from that moment. Welcome to our world. How many moms do you see at the park texting? Emailing? Forget talking on their cellphones. Now their fingers are doing the talking. And we don’t even REALIZE how this is effecting our kids. That’s the scary part. We always talk about how our kids are sponges. Well, guess what their little eyes are seeing 24/7? Mommies, Daddies and even illegal Nannies (I’m not trying to be politically incorrect here, just honest) completely engrossed in a world they know nothing about – because their world is all about the immediate. A ladybug crawling across the playground, a loud airplane flying through the sky, a leaf blowing in a tree, how their butt feels careening down a hot slide on a summer day…. Thank god for children. Thank god they remind us of the simple things. Things about life that have never changed and hopefully never will. Things you can’t text, email or post on Facebook…and things we adults, and parents in particular, desperately need to get back in touch with.
What were Moms like before cellphones? Have you ever thought about that? They must have played with their kids more, laughed more, appreciated more…maybe they even watched those ladybugs and leaves. If they weren’t distracted by technology….what were they doing at the park? Maybe being so involved with their kids, they felt like kids themselves.
Yesterday I was at the beach with my girlfriend. We were there with our two 3 year old sons. I was on my Blackberry (as I often am) and she was technology-free (ok, I’ll fall for the modern day trap of shortening something and making it sound so catchy – “T-FREE” – how’s that Brangelina??!!) What was she thinking-my friend-being T-FREE?! At one point she said, “Molly, look at the boys rolling in the sand!” and I lifted my head up for the cursory glance, and then back down to my phone. I think she was sending me a bigger message than that. “Molly, you are missing out on your son’s childhood, his gleeful exuberance.” And the message came through loud and clear and more rapid than a text message.