Sunday, August 22, 2010

Technologically Dependent

I've gotten fairly lazy about posting, and really, I need to focus more on making sure that I do post more regularly, if for no other reason than keeping myself on some sort of schedule in the chaos that my world has become of late. I really didn't have a clue about WHAT I might need/want to write about specifically, and then I read a friend & sorority sister's post this evening, about a stranger who challenged her to leave her phone behind & devote her attention to her children while she was in the store, instead of being tied to the technology. Now, personally, I would wonder about the motives of such a person… I mean, a random stranger telling me to leave my phone in the car while I am in the store? Really? Dude, I don't know you, and perhaps I'm too cynical, having lived in the city for too long, and having had my car broken into in my own driveway, when the only thing in it was a pool cue, so I'm absolutely not going to let you see me leave a cell phone in the car while I'm in the store.
At any rate, I admit that I'm pretty tied to my technology as well. Since I have no satellite box in my bedroom, and only a limited supply of tv series DVDs, I've gotten a little better about not watching tv in bed anymore, and certainly about leaving it on all night long, but I still like to have the one in the living room on when I'm in there. The necessary change in my phone service/provider means that I no longer have a smartphone or even a dumb one with a qwerty keyboard and a decent sized screen. What I have now is a very basic one, and while I can check email & facebook on it, it's a hassle, and my aging eyes don't like trying to read messages on a 1.5x2 inch screen and it's much harder to text without the qwerty. I do keep it with me, virtually all the time, simply because I am looking for work, trying to get some state assistance, and trying to get my school enrollment handled, and I REALLY can't afford to miss calls that relate to any of those things. Of course, I don't have children that I'm sacrificing time with to spend with my technology. I just almost can't stand not to read the text as soon as it comes in, or check the voicemail. My computer is a near constant companion, when I am home, anyway, simply because I do spend a good deal of time doing job searches, and trying to research income generating opportunities. That being said, I also spend probably more time than I really should on Facebook, MySpace, the Wench Board, and various other fun (as opposed to research and news) sites. Baby steps, I suppose.
Recently, a child near and dear to me was diagnosed (we were already fairly certain, based on our research, but it has now been confirmed) with Asperger's Syndrome. In an effort to learn to communicate more effectively with her, and help her learn to cope with the world that she ultimately will have to cope with, several books have been purchased, and we are all going to take turns getting through them. The first one was written for kids, by a boy with AS. It spoke in simple terms (almost too simple for teens, but I understand that details are sometimes too much information), and it gave me some more insight into my dealings with her. She has come a long way in the past, oh, about 2 years or so, but I know that there is still much to be done. Tonight, I put my phone in my pocket and ignored it for a little while. (Baby steps, remember?) She asked her mother earlier in the week about us eating dinner at the table in the dining room, rather than in the living room watching tv and balancing our plates on our laps. For all the meals I can remember sharing with her, she eats fairly quickly, and often leaves the room when she's done, not to return until we are all finished. So tonight we sat down, all of us who were eating, and had a nice meal at the table, without the distraction of the TV, or the cats, or our phones. It was nice. Quiet, to be sure, because, well, there wasn't a lot to talk about that we hadn't already discussed during the day. Hopefully, as we all get school & work going, at least during the week, dinner will be more lively, with a little more conversation. I remember when I was a child, and we ate dinner at the table, actually, we ate all of our meals at home at the table. When I got a little older, and the living/dining area was more of an open area, we watched tv from the table, but we were at the table. When I live alone, I ate in front of the tv. ALWAYS. I think we've lost the art of appreciating our food, because we ARE so geared to multi-tasking that we don't consider eating a task all on its own, and have a need to be doing something while we eat, whether it be watching tv, reading the newspaper or a book, working a crossword, studying, or whatever. Dining should be an enjoyable event all in itself, and I think that as a society, we would do well to remember that, AND to put it into practice.
My goal for this next week is to eat 3 actual meals each day… probably not perfectly balanced, but not just snack along the day, skipping breakfast or lunch in favor of a snack, but something with some nutritional value, and to actually ENJOY what I'm eating, without the distraction of the television or computer.

No comments: