I needed a new cell phone. In our age of technology, it seemed like a minor problem, yet to me it felt like a major issue!
I’ve had a cheap old pre-pay flip phone for a couple of years. It had no bells or whistles. I couldn’t use it to access my email, facebook or even twitter. There were no games on it to entertain me or my children. It was just a phone. I used it to make voice calls or use for basic texting. Although my friends with smart phones seemed a little annoyed that I could not open the pictures they tried to text to me, I was okay with its simplicity.
My husband has always been more excited about technology then me. He’d recently researched various cell phone plans and deals. “Smart phones have camera’s, you know!” “You wouldn’t have to carry the bulky camera, you know!” “You could use the camera for your blog, you know!!”
Once my tired old phone lost the ability to charge the battery, I knew I had to give in. To the delight of my husband, Costco still had a deal he’d patiently had his eye on. With a very basic level contract, we were given two free smart phones. Given that he uses his phone a bit for work, and really did need an upgrade, it was ideal. He was even careful to research all the reviews to make sure I had the smart phone with the best camera, in case I really did decide to use it for the blog.
We brought our phones home over the weekend, and holy technology Batman!!!!! I have a mini super computer that I can text, talk, call for the bat car, surf the net, and wowza!!!! If I download apps I can have a special Christian music ring tone. I can download the bible to follow along in church…hey, is that guy in the pew in front of us playing Candy Crush…I can download games to entertain my kids whenever I want them to turn into mindless techno zombies…….wait Batman, I think these might be signs of the Joker!!
Okay, okay, seriously, I’m pretty impressed, and overwhelmed, with the technology of my new phone. I have been resistant to a smart phone because I knew I would be impressed. I have seen the techno moms at the park, in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, and just about everywhere else. You know the moms I’m referring to. While at the park they call their kids to pose for the phone, kids flash a smile, click, and mom shoos them away to play while she updates her facebook with an exciting declaration of the fun she’s having playing with her kids at the park.
I like technology. When I can figure it out I think it’s fun, but I don’t want to be techno mom. When I take my bulky camera to the park, I am making a choice of the role I will play in our park experience. I count the cost. With a smart phone that easily takes pictures, I am concerned the distraction of technology and social media will be too great. I don’t want to stop counting the cost. My children are too important. I don’t want to to ask them to give a smiling pose just so I can claim I am involved. A picture of posing children is worthless. The time and attention I give to my children is far more valuable. Will I really keep my new found technology tucked away in my bag?!?
Not only do I not want to be techno mom, I also don’t want to be a techno introvert. You know the guy. At a social gathering when nobody is immediately talking to him, he pulls out the phone to check……whatever. I admit, I’m not an extrovert that naturally seeks people out. I’m also not really an introvert. I do know that when I’m in a large unfamiliar group, I’m a little jealous of the guy hiding behind technology. If I hide, I might miss meeting a new friend. I might miss encouraging a current friend that is down. If I could hide…… No, I don’t want to be tempted to hide. The people around me are too important.
Today I pulled out my fancy piece of smart phone technology, called the littles, and experienced our first efforts at a selfie!! A note to some of my young friends and family members (you know who you are), this was NOT taken in a bathroom!!
How does technology effect you? How do you set technology boundaries for yourself and your kids??