Do We Hide Behind Technology?
Well I had a big long business related post written up for today but if you feel anywhere near as tired as I do then I think you’ll agree something a little less mentally taxing is in order! Fortunately I read a great post today by Jason over at Work Save Live which reminded me of a conversation I once had with my Dad about technology. In Jason’s post he related a story about a group of kids who were sent on a camping trip together but weren’t allowed to take any technology along with them, no easy task for the kids of today!
Like most people reading the post I was expecting a story that showed how when technology is taken away from kids they become more interactive, loving, well mannered and more importantly happier kids! Was that the case? Unfortunately not. What actually happened is that once the technology had been taken away from these kids, they suddenly began to think a lot more about the problems in their life, in their home situation and with their peers. As I’ve said already this story reminded me of a conversation I once had with my Dad about the effects of technology on our lives.
Getting Rid Of The TV
A few years ago when my wife and didn’t have children we made a decision that to the outside world might have seemed a bit crazy, we decided to get rid of our TV! I know it sounds crazy but we felt we were spending so much time staring at the box that it was literally wasting our lives away. Although it was a bit of a shock to the system at first it did have a positive effect on our lives. We began to take up more hobbies, we went out for more walks together and most importantly we spent more time talking! It’s amazing how much you learn about your partner when you take the time to talk.
We found that our quality of life improved dramatically when we didn’t have a TV to consume our minds and became used to living without one.
Dad Comes To Stay
Because we had become used to life without a television we were a little taken aback by the reaction to our decision when my Father came to stay. At first everything was fine and for a few hours we sat down, talked and had a coffee or two. Then 7 o’clock came, prime-time TV! Up until this point my dad didn’t really notice that the television wasn’t on (It was still in the room to watch the odd DVD) but when the time arrived for his regular Saturday night programming we had to break the news, we no longer held a television license. I wish I’d had a camera to capture the look of shock, disbelief and mild distress on his face! The news did not go down well.
The Debate Ensues
I don’t want to bore you with every single aspect of the debate that consumed the next hour of our lives regarding the positive and negative effects of having a television, but one point did stand out more than all the others. It arose when I mentioned that not having a television had given my wife and I much more time to talk to each other, giving us a chance to better understand one another and also iron out some of our grievances. What was his response? Some things are better left unsaid!
Now to some extent I can understand where he’s coming from and the experience Jason gave in his article today shows that stepping away from technology for a while definitely has the potential to cause more short term harm than good. In the long run though is this not quite a worrying thought? Are we all unknowingly hiding behind technology and leaving important issues in our life unresolved, not talking about them or tackling them until one day we blow up inside?
I’m No Role Model
I’m certainly not professing to be a role model in this area. As a family we now have a television again but I know if I ever feel it’s taking over my life again, I have the ability to live without it, not sure if the kids will agree. I’m also sat here writing this post on my laptop, another time drainer. It’s tough to get away from technology in this world, many people couldn’t make a living without it, but is technology interfering too much with normal human interaction and will our lack of dialogue with those whom we love one day come back to bite us?