Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unplugged doesn't refer to MTV anymore...

So I just finished The Winter of Our Disconnect, a story of a media addicted family and its cold turkey Thoreau-esque attempt of making their house screen free for six months... and here I am at the dentist with one ear plugged in and typing this on my iPhone feeling a little guilty.   But the book really hit a nerve, in a good way.

Since the time my husband got the iPod touch, also known as Daddy's toy, our life has not been the same. Though the toy is fun and has saved us from countless tantrums, I have found that we have had more Face to Facebook time rather than face to face time, especially once the kids are in bed. I found we would both be on the couch, watching (and I use that term loosely) a show but both on either the iPod iPad or iPhone tooling around on various websites. I used to ask Kyle to put it away during movie time but now I have found myself giving into the temptation.

The author, Susan Maushart, provides insight and research into the effects of multimedia multitasking on society. And I believe it.  I see what it does. Tweens in the same room texting each other from across the couch. People at restaurants facebooking in the middle of a conversation rating their dates, right in front of them. People posting they are at the gynecologist getting a pap. Do I really need to know?  Dont get me wrong. Technology has it's place. But not at the dinner table. In the bathroom. And certainly not while in the stirrups.

Since reading the book I have found myself consciously making (and sometimes not successfully) an effort specifically to cut down Facebook time, as I have used that as my vice during time outs, flare ups and what nots, to make "connections" and throw stuff out into the digital world to make sure I am not the   only one with one foot in the hole.  

But one of the biggest points I took away from Susan's story was that boredom, often brought on by overstimulation, needs to occur to facilitate growth in creativity, socialization and humanism.  After all, without body language, we would be flat affected LOL when someone texted us "GYHOOYA IMNERHO we all suffer from FBOCD" (see The Largest List of Text Message Shorthand to decipher).

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