Technology break

My kids balked at the thought. They were filled with panic….and then questions. How does one go without technology¬†for a whole long weekend? And, why?

I think my kids are like most of their age. Access to computers at home, and in the case of my son, takes one to school. They both have iPhones, sans SIM cards, so basically iPods. But they run IOS version 4, which allows for robust parental controls. Yet, still – they manage to navigate into territory we had not imagined or intended.

But that is not the reason for the ban, I mean break. I have been wanting to do this for a long time. Give it a try before our children became so entrenched that a weekend break would not be possible.

For two and a half weeks in Mexico last year, we had no computers for the kids. The compromise was iPhones. They stared at those little blue screens everywhere but the beach. The devices are like pacifiers. In an effort to well-behaved children, the technology is a big help. But I miss something about spending time together. The interaction is not the same.

For this weekend, I asked the kids to imagine we were living in the 1980’s. The reaction to what life was like then is interesting.

  • They both had visions of Pac Man. Yeah, only if you got on your bike and rode to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters, which your parents likely wouldn’t allow.
  • How do they talk to their friends without texting? The telephone is not how kids communicate these days.
  • I allowed Netflix and movies from iTunes, (we don’t really have regular cable TV and video stores are not available anymore). Last night, we watched “Saving Mr. Banks” and my children are so fixed on knowing what happens next, (immediately), they drown out the onscreen action with – “what happens next?” Effectively, their attention span has dwindled with their increasing need for immediate gratification.
  • My husband loathes board games, but has agreed to play “21”, which is really blackjack, which is really endorsing poker. But, I was raised on this card game, it was a staple in my 1980’s home.
  • Settlers of CatanI agreed to purchase a new board game – Catan. That was the kind of thing that would have captured my imagination as a child, not surprising my Son is very interested. But, not until Saturday. No stores are open in our community on Good Friday!

 

We’ve got a break in the rain today, sunny skies and an adventure into the world before technology as my children have grown accustomed to.

Life on the light side

That is the light colour case with the little glowing apple missing a small bite.

How did we go from not owning a single device just a mere 20 years ago, to now having:

  • 2 iPhones
  • 2 nanos
  • 1 iTouch
  • 1 iPad
  • 2 MacBook Pros
  • 2 other black cased laptops
  • 1 windows desktop that we call “Blaze”

Only 27% of these devices are not made by Apple, not sure why that happened. Other than to say, we have completely bought into the genius of the Apple marketing machine. And if it is that simple, then I am fine with it. There is not a day goes by when I am using one of my devices and I gladly express how much I like it. It makes my life easier and more fun in so many different ways.

It should be noted that although the list of devices does seem excessive for 4 people, (2 of them children), I can explain. One of the iPhones was provided by my work and they may want it back at some point, but I’ll gladly buy it, (I LOVE it). One of the nanos is AWOL and the other is so hopelessly 1st generation it sits in a drawer. The iTouch is closely guarded by my son as “his” but it did start out as mine. But I didn’t need it once I came into ownership of the iPad, (which I love beyond words to explain fully). Then I needed a “home” computer just for me, so the first MacBook Pro entered our life this Spring, (I am not even counting in this list the MacBook Pro I use for work). MacBook Pro #2 came into our lives on the weekend….it is running the Beta version of OS X¬†Lion and will be for my son’s use this fall to and from school, (Grade 5 – can you believe it?)

I wouldn’t say we are dependent on these things, I remember very clearly what it was like to work without them. But I would never have dreamed of sitting here tonight typing out a post for my own blog using my own portable computer. I used my iPad for recipes/menus tonight while cooking dinner. My phone is on the go from morning to night, (it never rests poor thing).

When you take all these things together, it is pretty good stuff as far as I am concerned.