Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Technology and Me

It all started when I was trying to get pregnant 6 years ago. I found a website to monitor my cycle on and ended up joining several of their "buddy groups" (smaller, semi-private message boards for women with something in common--location, fertility issue, etc.).

A few years later, when that fertility website wanted to start charging us to sit around and gab all day about our cervical fluid (AS IF), the LDS buddy group I had joined split off and started our own forum. But I kept up with a couple of the groups who stayed as well.

A year or so after that, one friend from the LDS forum became an avid blogger. And she kept asking me, "Did you read my blog today?" I hadn't. And I thought at the time, "What do you think I do? Sit around and read people's blogs all day??"

HA.HA.HA. If only I could have foreseen my own future....

Slowly, more and more people I knew were beginning to blog. By this time, I was reading emails, had kept up with 3 different buddy groups, plus my LDS forum, and had several internet "pen pals" that I wrote back and forth with regularly. I couldn't imagine finding more time in my day to be on the internet. Well, actually I could. But I was seriously afraid of what it would do to my life. Well, a year or two later I finally gave in to the whole blogging thing, not sure if I would like it or even have something to say (AS IF). And what do you know, I quickly found myself doing exactly what I had previously scoffed at....sitting around and doing nothing all day but reading people's blogs!

But that is IT, I told myself. I already spend way too much time on the internet. I have got to cut back somewhere.

Then along came Facebook. I consider myself a pretty technologically savvy person. I like to stay on the cutting edge of things. But I had a feeling Facebook would make me even more likely to neglect my children, get yelled at by my husband, and have my fingers permanently meld to the keyboard. So I did sign up, and I added friends little by little, but I never got into the whole constant-posting-of-every-tiny-aspect-of-my-life part of it. And even less into the constantly-reading-about-every-tiny-aspect-of-your-life part of it. I mostly used Facebook for the "So THAT's what he/she looks like after all these years!" feature of it. And I think I'm pretty comfortable leaving it that way. Especially since I'm seriously rubbed wrong by the fact that some people seem to think that posting things on Facebook is the same thing as talking to someone in person. (It's NOT, in case you're not clear on that, some of you.) I literally discovered, in a one week period, missed announcements of one friend's baby's birth, one friend moving to another part of the country, and one friend getting married. ALL OF THESE EVENTS WERE ONLY POSTED ON FACEBOOK. No mailings, no phone calls, no "hey let's get together before I move to Oregon"s. Just "I'm flinging this out there to the whole world and if you happen to check my status during the 3 hours it shows up in your feed, then you'll know this super important thing about my life, and if not, oh well." See.....that's just not how I want to live my life. I know everyone says the internet is here to bring us closer together, make connections, blah blah blah... It's all lies, if you ask me. The way I see it, internet technology has allowed us to become so isolated from the real people in our lives--our next door neighbors, our kids' friends' moms, the people in our office, etc.--that we can avoid actually talking to another human being that we care about for years if we utilize all the technology available to us. We can spend 8 years in a house without our next door neighbor ever knowing our name.

And then there's Twitter. I can't even go there.

As much as I feel like this may mean that I've reached the point in my life where I will start being "old," or stop being hip, or will no longer be as technologically advanced as humanly possible......I think I might be OK with that.

Because my next door neighbor on one said is named Dave. And my next door neighbors on the other side are Steve and Marilyn. And my neighbor behind me is Heather. And their dogs are named Cooper and Regis and Ein. And I bring them muffins sometimes. And they lend me Paprika when I need it. And I send out real, actual, paper invitations in the mail and pick up the phone to talk to the people I love. And that makes me feel like the people around me are real and I am real. It makes me feel connected to the world. More connected than 140 characters of text on my iPhone ever could.
p.s. This doesn't mean I don't love you if you're way more technologically advanced than me now. It just means I think I'm going to stay here for a while. I hope you'll still love me too.


Jules AF said...

I'm proud to say I deleted my twitter. And I've gotten away from my computer more... Success!

just call me jo said...

I won't let myself go twittering, etc. I'm too addictive and am trying to swear off even blogs. Can I do it?? Debatable.

mCat said...

Um, not sure exactly how you feel on this one! : )

I guess I find that while I have several real life relationships that are highly satifisfying - I have developed some internet relationships that have added so much to my life, I can't imagine not "talking" to them.

And facebook is a great way for me to keep in contact with my young women since that is all they'll do.

Unknown said...

Ive tried twitter and just don't get it. The one perk is it automatically posts the same thing to facebook from my phone. All the better for my minions to read of me.

Cook Family said...

I'm completely agree!

Jillybean said...

I'm not on twitter or Facebook because I know how involved I would get, and I already spend enough time on the computer.
I'm actually wavering on the facebook thing now because some family members have invited me to join.

Vanessa said...

I love being connected with people just because I'm a social butterfly. It does become overwhelming and takes time away from what is important.

But, saying that, i have met so many wonderful people! And that makes me happy.

Lia said...

I'm so with you on this post.
Wait till your kids grow up and it's the only way you know what's happening with them, that's if they even let you be a friend!!!!
That is exactly what is happening to a friend of mine and as it was her only way to keep with them imagine how she felt when her oldest daughter blocked her.

Technology is meant to make things easier for us all, but I don't believe you can beat good old fashioned face to face chats, doing things with people and enjoying each others company.

While I adore my blog and the friends that I have made, I do wish that I could spent real time and life experiences with them.

Much love

Mia said...

I am glad that I am not on Facebook. I did miss it at first, but not any more. I love blogging and I have a few relationships that I wouldn't have with out it, but there is a time and a place for technology. If your internet relationships take priority over your real life ones, I think that is a big time red flag. Announcing things via FB before you mention them to your good friends is sort of a slap in the face. I get that it is more time efficient to blast it, but people do feel less important if they find things out that way versus in person. (Although I might be guilty of this very thing on occasion.)

alex dumas said...

Noted. So then may I have your phone number? Tiburon would't give it to me.


Mrs. O said...

I think Twitter may have saved my sanity a couple times. It's nice to be able to rally the troops when you have fabulous news, major suckage, or are just in need of some humor.

Besides, I'm glad to have met you - thanks to technology. :)

Rachel Sue said...

I so could have written this! Wow. I know how you feel.

Plain Jame said...

I don't "get" twitter. At all. I think it's dumb, but not the people that do it of course! hee hee!

You know how I feel about FB. Blogging does me wonders but it ebbs and flows. I let it be, just like the tides.

Have fun on your vacay!

Sara said...

Hope your having fun in the sun!

Nicki said...

I've gotten back into touch with so many friends all over the country that I don't know if I ever would have otherwise, for that reason I'm thankful for Facebook.

kado! said...

i guess I'll be right there with you! I'm happy with the amount of technology I'm involved in right now...never want a facebook account and I don't have enough interesting things to say on Twitter. So here I am, blogging when I can and living the "real" life!

tiburon said...

I have reached my technology maximum.

No Twitter for me.

I have reached my limit.

That being said - I sure do love it :)