This blog was formerly titled "Sentiments and Scrapbooks."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Recreational Technology {Soapbox}

Every January I re-organize, clean up files, back up files, and generally update my organizational system. The process involves looking at documents I may not have seen for years. I just came across something I wrote in 2010. I believe it may still apply, for consideration by me, at least. My words from that year:
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Recreational Technology:
How much is too much?
Recreational Technology defined: the use of technology for fun, relaxation, and/or virtual socialization.
Examples:
-Video games (“gaming”) or other computer games—alone, or with virtual community
-Online social communities such as facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest
Having lived for a large number of years (smile), I have had opportunity to see some very dramatic changes in the “culture” in which I live. While many changes have been positive, even awesome and wonderful, there are some developments that I fear carry the potential of having more negative long-term effects than we might realize. One of those areas of “concern” is that of the rapid growth of recreational technology.
Now, I got my first computer in 1985. I can still remember taking the computer out of the box, trying to make sense of the manual, partitioning the hard drive, and installing DOS. I taught myself how to do simple programming and had an organizational system on my computer before Windows. In fact, I didn’t like Windows at first because it took some of the control of my computer away from me. I’m certainly not anti-technology. I just wonder if maybe the “use” of technology for recreation and socialization would best be experienced “in moderation.”
I propose these questions for your consideration, if you are seeking to determine how much is too much, for you personally:
*Are your relationships suffering?
*Are you lacking in adequate rest?
*Are you rationalizing your time at these activities (such as “If I weren’t doing this, I would be watching television.” In reality, if it replaces two hours of TV, would those two hours have been spent watching TV WITH family)?
*Are you spending more time with virtual “friends” or online friends than with family?
*Are you looking forward to that activity more than family time/activities?
*Are you uneasy and unsettled during “normal,” real-life people-to-people conversation, and feel in the back of your mind that you can’t wait to get back to your “real” world (computer, tablet, phone, etc.)?
*Are you sharing with the world INSTEAD of with family (unless they happen to be a part of your virtual community)?
*Are your online friends the first to know about meaningful events in your life (maybe even leaving out someone who has the audacity NOT to be on social media)?
*Are your “postings” (blogs, facebook status, etc.) taking the place of meaningful real conversations with real people?
*Are those activities affecting, or maybe even, controlling:
Your mood?
Your priorities?
Your outlook on life?
Your schedule?
Not looking for a score here. There are not a certain number of the above questions that will give you a definitive answer about how much is too much. It’s an individual answer, but the question is one that, for me, deserves consideration.
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#recreationaltechnology #mypersonalopinion #mylifephilosophy #toomuchtechnology #realrelationships

3 comments:

Mark Ford said...

Very relevant. Great thoughts and practical tips for knowing how much is too much.

Kristy said...

I LOVE the way your blog looks! Just had to get that said :) This is such a timely word and so needed in our day and age.I wish everyone could read it. I remember when computers first came out, one of my professors saying you can only get a response from a computer that you or someone programmed it to give. Computers are awesome, but they can not make us feel like people can. Facebook can not replace face to face. We all need the human connection. We were wired for community.

Barbara said...

Thanks, all.