I remember taking this class a few years ago around technology tools/devices and the impact on people, especially the younger generation and their spiritual wellbeing. Many of the articles we read spread across a spectrum of absolutely necessary to the destruction of the social fabric of society’s mental and physical well being. How do you sift through the rhetoric and bias, to come to own conclusions as to the need for technology devices in our world? Good or bad? I think of loss of hearing or needing glasses earlier or getting a permanent pouch or arthritis in the fingers or…You know what I’m saying. I really cannot say too much as I spend a great deal of time on computer or my cell phone. But I do recall that I was dead set against having a cell phone for a long time as well as curbing my girls time being on computer or game system for any length of time. I felt that computers or cell phones seem to control a person’s time and let’s face it time is a precious commodity to begin with. I just see lots of people together walking down sidewalks or the park or wherever but not really being with each other as majority of time is on their phone either texting or talking. And don’t get me started on gaming. Not going there. Whatever happened to..oh I don’t know…a good old CONVERSATION with the person NEXT TO YOU; remember where you go face to face making eye contact, seeing the expressions of the person as you converse… nose twitching or mouth smirking or eyes tearing up…any or all of the above for goodness sake.
Alas, I eventually did break down to get a cell phone because my daughters’ nagging kind of wore me out (nag me, their mother!!…that’s my job). Of course, I saw the light as safety and being accessible, reducing the worry, car breaking down, being lost, taking pictures, capturing a video clip, sharing news, and on and on. I got it!!! Pulling at the old heart strings, I think they had the gift of gab down pat back then, a little too well. And now, three against one…really girls!! You know you get to a point and say, if you cannot beat them…eat cherries instead. I love them.
As much as I profess strongly to a technology time out in my day, I cannot be more grateful in knowing I can see my family and friends in real time through the lens of technological devices whether FaceTime, Skype, Messenger, FaceBook, Twitter or whatever ‘itter’ – I want to see. What is that old adage, oh yes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. (Okay, I know that I blog, crafting words to create images but to see…I guess that is why I like images to go along with my blog). Sidetracked. Oops. Anyhoo, I want to see the whites of their eyes.
So Easter weekend comes. Celebration. Where I usually can scooch and hug my family, I am put on hold with face to face, skin to skin. Where one goes to church to celebrate with joy the Risen Christ, new life, and fresh start within. I am put on hold. But I get the next best thing – I get to see. Easter messages from near and far…Skype with my brother and his family; so good to see them as they share themselves with me. Thankyou. Which followed with a video link on a Mass recorded and sent to me by a friend and colleague of my former Board, with Father Jim, a retired pastor who works Board, presided. Now I can partake in the Mass virtually. A faith lift.
Later on in the day, with a smile on my face, my heart jumping up and down, I open up Messenger to view a short video clip of my granddaughter 8 months old starting to crawl across the floor. Watching her little hands spread wide as she slaps them on the floor, trying coordinate her hands and knees to go forward, reaching her a treasure before her. I stare in wonder and awe with tears on my face. Then seeing and hearing my grandson talking to his mom in the background, reminding me of the many times he would ask me, his Rara, to find ways to do something with him. Spoil by Rara. Just being there with them, even if virtual, words cannot express my feelings. Right after that, my phone rings…lets FaceTime. Oh to see baby girl, waking up from her nap, and I think she is smiling at me as I grin and make noises as she looks at me. I think she sees me for I see her. Then to add the icing on the Easter day, my oldest daughter texts me about how she is doing as a new mommy, the delight in her words describing her day with her, and then seeing one month old baby girl in all of her faces. She goes from scrunch to smile to frown to stare…how does your heart not beat faster.
What did we do before technology devices? We waited. And now we do not. Regardless of the burden of abundance that technology devices provide for each one of us, be it a lot or not as much, depending on circumstances, connecting with one another is by far the most wondrous of gift to receive. Unfortunately, like anything else, misuse and abuse can take its toll on the user and receiver so I extend that thought of freedom with responsibility. Nothing can replace first hand human interaction, the joy and sorrow, you get to feel, honour, and live out. Maybe not what you would like to experience at times (I can relate) but, I’ll take the next best thing – I want to see you.