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My Wish

wishEver wish your kids had some of the things you did while they’re growing up? Every wish you had some of the things they have now?

I’d say I wish more for the first question. I wish my children had more of the freedom I had. And by freedom, I mean less shackles of an internet…of technology. I know I’ve ranted about this before, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been run off the road from a driver who is looking at their phone…more younger drivers than older ones. I already have a son who drives, and four more to go. I would be heartbroken if one were in an accident because either they or another driver couldn’t possibly wait to check something on Facebook. Let’s face it, the internet robs children of outside air. How many kids are inside versus how many are surfing the web, or playing online games?

I also wish that all the little bully sites would go away. I never thought I’d see the day that girls and boys would go online to target and hurt other people. As if to their face wasn’t bad enough. What is this about? (It’s bully week at the elementary school, so I digress). What happened to all the Coke commercials of people holding hands around the world, singing about being one? Is it that we don’t foster enough attitudes about acceptance? We don’t have to agree, but we should accept. So what if the beautiful Asian girl wears camouflage to school? Did that give the prissy girls a right to Facebook what a poser she was? To say her ethnicity shouldn’t wear a certain color of clothing? And ultimately drive the poor girl to kill herself? I hope these girls are appropriately charged with murder, because their unkind, needling words drove her to the brink, I feel. No, they didn’t pull the trigger, but they gave her the gun and showed her how to use it.

Can’t we just all get along? What hurts people, anyway? That’s right…sticks and stones. Maybe we should keep that in mind. And keep more of our words in our heads and not on our tongues.

 

 

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Just What the World Needs…

tech…a new way to converse with one another.

I looked at my children the other night, standing around in the kitchen–each one of them had their heads hung, looking at a device. For my smallest, it was a 3DS; my daughter, her IPOD; my two boys, phones. Even my husband was swinging his neck to look at his phone screen. I exclaimed how they all looked–ridiculous. Granted, I do it too…but it’s crazy. It’s too much. Do you know my two youngest boys have withdrawal if they don’t have a device in their hands all the time? And can you imagine the number it’s doing on your vertebrae?

So I was talking to my fourth son in birth order. He was telling on his sister about typing something on Snapchat. Snapchat? What? What is this and how does she have an account? I’m not an old fogey, but I do like to have a say on what social media she’s on. There are too many predators out there to think it’s all innocent–which is what young girls believe it is, and should be. Anyway, he continues to say that Snapchat is an outlet in which once the person views the message, it vanishes. Hmm….okay. So let’s recap; Instagram is for pictures– Facebook is to proclaim what type of mood you’re in or kind of day you’re having, or what you’re eating–Pinterest is for pinning special photos to boards you want to keep–Twitter is to advertise (let’s face it, no one does much more than this)–and now Snapchat is to correspond with people and then have it disappear. Kind of like a secret message that self-destructs. Interesting. How many others ways can they dream up to communicate with one another that doesn’t involve physical human interaction? Hearing someone’s voice is almost obsolete anymore.

I suppose speed is the new thing. And the internet, of course is the highway for it all. After all, it’s how I’m communicating now. But why can’t you just not tell the world every single detail of your life? Every second of the day? Why can’t you hold it all in, for say a week, and then give a person a call and have a good talk on the phone. Like we used to. I feel the world is getting to be a bit too much in your business. Don’t get me wrong, I stalk Facebook to see what everyone is doing. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a sad pastime. It’s sort of funny because if I see Facebook people out on the street, I feel like it’s a weird celebrity sighting. As if you’re following their life through the media and now they’re there in the flesh. Like ‘hey, I saw you the other night at that restaurant eating spaghetti. I was happy to read the doctor’s visit checked out great!’. But it’s not always a good thing. You see their status and you feel like you’ve checked in with them. You don’t need to give them a call to connect personally…you know what they’re up to already. You’ve checked the ‘like’ button and all is up to date.

They say Snapchat is going to trump the other social media icons by having 150 million users. 150 million!!! People want speed and direct ability to chat with a single person, then have it go away. Hey, here’s a notion…wait until something earth-shattering happens to you, then call them! I would be shocked to know how many relationships rely more on technology than person-to-person. It makes me happy I dated in the phone age. Where I heard the voice of the other person, and gushed on the one side of the telephone connection–staying up all night, talking about everything. And I didn’t have to guess their tone. Have you ever read a message from someone and wondered what the whole capitalization was for? Let’s face it, capital letters show tone. Was it an accident they typed ‘VERY tired’? Does that mean they don’t want to text now? And why didn’t he/she comment on that last text? Did they not get it? When in fact, they didn’t, but you assume they didn’t like your comment and now it was up to you to backtrack. Yep, I’m grateful I had use of the phone during my dating years. Well, kind of. I remember a few times it would’ve been nice to send a Snapchat for an easy break-up! 🙂

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Technology Today

divorce-kid-phoneI was driving down the road today and saw the funniest and sad thing. Weird, right? It was a little girl standing at the end of her driveway, waiting for the school bus. She had a little pink coat with a fur trimmed hat, and her backpack looked like it weighed more than she did. But what was funny…and sad, was that she was holding a cellphone and talking on it. I mean, really? She looked all of ten years old. Elsa, from “Frozen” was probably printed on her coat. A cellphone?

I suppose it’s no different than all the toddlers I see in the grocery store carts holding on to a IPAD, watching movies. Is this the new binky? I’ve actually seen some of them cry when their mom took it to change the app!

I know, I know…this is today. Of course I didn’t have this when I had my babies, but would I have used them to babysit my children? It sure would’ve been convenient, but how beneficial is it for the child’s future? I always took mine out to acclimate them to the public, and teach them how to act when there. Don’t shout for things wanted, don’t run around, and don’t touch everything in sight. Now, I’m not even sure if children even know where they’re at! The tiny screen is all they see.

I have an issue with my seven and nine year old, always wanting to play their 3DS. They’ve become so good at walking and playing, they could jump through fire hoops and not miss a level on their game! My soon-to-be 13 year old daughter keeps shouting how happy she’s going to be next month when she gets her phone. I do a side glance, wondering where it’s written that this is going to happen? Who does she have to call? And why isn’t the house phone acceptable for this type of communication? She has an IPOD that takes care of music and Facebook. A phone? Although, I suppose the ten year old I saw today, chatting it up while waiting for the bus to her elementary school might have something different to tell me! 🙂

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A Little Privacy … Please

BIG BROTHERHave you ever clicked on a site and shopped around for something. Maybe a piece of artwork or a new watch? Then a day later, you’re scrolling through your mail account, on a totally unrelated venue, and all of a sudden there pops up the images you’d shopped the day before. The lady on the riverbank, posing with her umbrella, priced a hundred dollars too high. Or, that watch with the diamonds and mother of pearl face, coupled with five other ones people like you looked at when deciding which one to purchase. I know furniture salesman that aren’t that pushy. Talk about invasion of privacy.

You can’t do much now that doesn’t signal to the “internet police” so they can haunt you for the next few weeks with suggestions bases on searches. Or, how about when you want to log into a site and they suggest just logging into Facebook or Titter. That’ll do the trick. Then, like magic, your information appears before your eyes for the best time to get your puppy groomed at Petsmart. It’s a little creepy, if you ask me. My mother-in-law puts a piece of tape over her computer camera. She’s convinced someone’s watching her. I laughed at first. But, who knows, it’s turning out to be like something you used to see in movies. As far-fetched ideas. Only these are coming true.

And crime? Now, the first thing investigators do is check someone’s Facebook account. That seems to shed more light on what the person was doing and the sites they were visiting, than just to interrogate neighbors and friends.

The Amish way of life is becoming a little appealing as of late. Granted, there will be less shopping, but at least among the simpler order, without technology, no one can see your thoughts. But, just give America a little time, they might have the computer chip already designed to insert in you. You think your baby is going off to get bathed right after birth, but really it’s getting chipped for constant, future surveillance.  And you? When you went in for that “routine” teeth cleaning, they slapped the device just far enough back in your throat that you can’t see it when you brush your teeth. Just sayin’.

P.S. If I disappear after writing this, alert no one. “They”, already, are aware:)