Technologically Conservative

Probably a strange post title from someone who sits in front a computer about 14 hours a day.  It may be an exaggeration, as I definitely indulge in leisure browsing on the internet and facebook for more than I should, but in general I do consider myself to be on the conservative side when it comes to technology.

What about evolution you might ask… if you don’t push the limits, how will you advance?  Think about how much you can increase your productivity!

I do in fact think that technology is a beautiful thing, and enjoy finding out about the latest and greatest devices and what they can do, so while I appreciate the usefulness and beauty of technology, living in a society that tends to encourage us to indulge in as much as we can afford, I try my best to be very intentional about what technology I do and do not participate in.

Those who know me probably know that I do not text and that I do not have a smartphone.

When I see my students mass texting before an event and successfully recruiting/reminding people to show up somewhere, I wonder if I’m just being stubborn and cheap, but when I’m leading a meeting and I’m constantly distracted by the clicking of buttons and phone vibrations, I can’t help but be annoyed at the constant diversions.

When I play with my friends’ smartphones, I enjoy the convenience of being able to look anything up the internet whenever I want or to pull up a fun game when I’m bored.  But until my job requires it, I don’t plan on getting a phone with a data plan, because knowing my own habits and weaknesses, I know how likely it is for me to become consumed by the device instead of being the consumer… not to mention that data plans are expensive!

When people only had landlines, people only called you during normal hours or in emergencies.  With the emergence of cell phones, access to people has been increased dramatically.  Now with texting, you can literally contact anyone at any time of the day (or night) without having to feel bad about it.  Something about that is a little frightening to me… I don’t think I want anyone to have that much access to me except my future wife.  As technology evolves, our defined boundaries with other people should also evolve, but it seems as they evolve, the blurrier they get.  While it’s obvious that watching a movie in the dark with a person of the opposite sex at 3 in the morning is a bad idea, and maybe even that frequently staying up on your computer ’til 4 talking to someone of the opposite sex is a bad idea, but what’s the harm in a couple flirtatious texts before you fall asleep, laying there in your bed?

I’m not at all condemning texting, but in a generation of portability and convenience, I think that how we’re approaching technology merits some thought, and not only regarding facebook.

Am I just being closed-minded and slow to change?  It’s possible.  Maybe I just need to learn better self-control instead of avoiding the things that tempt me to stumble.  I was recently reading the food blog of Lynn Chen, an Asian American actress, and she was sharing about how when she was overcoming her eating disorder, she had to learn how to live with her “trigger foods” in her kitchen rather than abolishing them from her house, so that when she found herself in a place with those foods, she wouldn’t go crazy with them.  Is that a better approach?  After all, I’m not even married yet and I’m already dreading the day that my daughter asks me for cell phone and trying to figure out what I’m going to do if I don’t think she’s old enough yet.  Crisis orientation anyone?

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