Monday, August 10, 2009

Modern Conveniences

In this time of modern conveniences, I have no problem with a step up. I love microwaves, coffeemakers with timers, digital photography, GPS, 'Google' and WiFi on my laptop. Though I was slow jumping on the iPod train, I wouldn't trade mine now.

I have mixed emotions about cell phones. I remember how secure it felt to be able to drive off on errands and leave a child at home, knowing I could be accessible if the need arose. Especially when afternoons and evenings were spent shuttling children to and from various activities.

I very quickly remember the frustration of same cell phone and same children, when the calls became requests for snacks, or updates on what someone else was doing at the time. Yet it was still a convenience.

Now we have no land line and cell phones are the only way to call. I've threatened to make the land line return if my husband continues to walk out of a room leaving his cell behind.

And there is texting... GUILTY! I love being able to send a quick note - without having to actually place a call. It's become more of a necessary factor as my brain cells fail me and I can no longer remember what it was I entered the room to pick up - or what I was planning to add to my 'to do' list.

With the convenience of internet, comes the social network site- let's call it "My Face" - which expanded it's availability to include those of us who are more chronologically endowed... and YES I have a "My Face" page. It started as a means to share lacrosse photos with our son's teammates. Much of our family also has 'pages'.

Family pages are a double edged sword. I've enjoyed following updates from our children. I refrain from commenting on their every movement and click past pictures of party going - they are adults. For our extended family it's been a recent source of frustration. How do you justify being too busy to keep in touch or respond to inquiries but it's clear you have time to spend leaving notes to others?

I'm guilty of using "My Face" to wish geographically distant friends a happy birthday or wish them well on their adventures. I'm saddened it's become a means for family to extend birthday greetings in lieu of a personal phone call. I cannot imagine feeling just a note to my parents, whether email, text or (argh) "My Face", is an appropriate way to recognize how I feel for them.

I'm not a big 'talk on the phone' person. I'm often elbow deep in a project and don't want to chat. Yet I have strong feelings about making the time to call and let someone know, in person, you are thinking of them.

I realize not all parent/child relationships are equal. For the topic of this 'venting' - there is a parent involved who cares deeply and deserves more respect.

Perhaps now we're using what is convenient as a means to avoid personal responsibility.

Just my opinion.

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