A love-hate relationship is the most accurate description on how I feel about technology. This is coming from a girl with a bushel basket of Apple products. I can spend (waste) countless chunks of time tinkering with the tools and toys that accompany my electronics. We make jokes about how much time we spend attached to our electronics, and lament on how our children are losing interpersonal communication skills because of their screen time. But I guess I’m not sure I’ve been taking it all that seriously. I mean, my husband and I monitor our kids electronics and I trust them very much that they are making good choices with screen time, but now I’m starting to realize it’s outside forces I fear. And it’s up to me to block their assault on my watch.
We are assaulted with junk that finds US even if we aren’t looking for it. I just saw some stats on this stuff and it says 35% of internet users have experienced unwanted exposure to pornographic content through ads, pop up ads, misdirected links or emails. And we all know it’s a slippery slope once that porn creeps in. Especially for men who are so visual, they can’t un-see those images. So as much as I enjoy Candy Crush or Angry Birds, I’m an Angry Wife & Mama when I think about predators sneaking into my home via the internet to assault anyone in my nest. I’m realistic that I can’t keep us all in a bubble but I’m also not ok with throwing my hands up to resign myself to the inevitability that we will be assaulted. So I want to be more mindful of how much screen time we are all getting sucked into, and also talking openly with my kids and husband about how seductive the junk can be. Shame on me if I don’t counteract the negative influences with not only openness to discussing what the enemy really is, but also helping us check back in to the real world and making memories together that are stronger than any cyber world.
The other night we were all unplugged, which doesn’t happen as consistently as we would like it to. But the power cords aligned and it was a really nice evening that seemed to slow down for us to enjoy. We laughed and talked and the kids wrestled and we read books and just experienced the present with each other. Nothing fancy, just hanging out. Being the Raines Family. And nothing terrible happened from not texting back or tweeting during that time. The best prevention for blocking out dangerous influences is by simply not being out in cyberspace in the first place. Sounds simple but in our hurried pace through life and dependence on our electronics I forget to protect my nest. Mama bird is taking back the nest. Take that and tweet it cyberspace! #putyourphonedown #yesImeanIt #noTheyWon’tHateyouifYouMissASnapchat #seriouslyNoOneHasDiedFromNotTextingBack #puttingMyApplesBackInTheBushelBasket