Breakfast can wait
We’ve posted several things about technology and how it’s changing our interactions in the world. I suppose our approach has been to share things we find compelling. Usually what’s compelling about them is that they sound so familiar. So, the other morning when I read Breakfast Can Wait. The Day’s First Stop is Online, on my laptop…over a bowl of cereal, I knew the author was on to something.
This is morning in America in the Internet age. After six to eight hours of network deprivation — also known as sleep — people are increasingly waking up and lunging for cellphones and laptops, sometimes even before swinging their legs to the floor and tending to more biologically urgent activities.
‘It used to be you woke up, went to the bathroom, maybe brushed your teeth and picked up the newspaper,’ said Naomi S. Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University, who has written about technology’s push into everyday life. ‘But what we do first now has changed dramatically. I’ll be the first to admit: the first thing I do is check my e-mail.'”
Do you log on to the internet first thing in the morning? Do you worry if you don’t? Are you concerned that your children interact more with screens than with people? Might that be true of you?
Some could argue that all this interfacing is simply progress. Back in the day, people probably complained that widespread use of the radio was making us lazy readers. And radio, in and of itself, is not bad. Just as food, money, sex, or computers are not bad. Just like any addiction, the internet is only a problem if we feel like we can’t survive without it.
As we continue to process technology and how to remain human in the midst of an increasingly virtual world, consider stepping away from the computer, the iPod, the iPhone, or the cell. For a day. For an hour. Or just for a moment. After (of course) you finish commenting on this blog…
Ouch. Why do you insist on getting personal with all this, Gate?
I remember when (not very long ago) MTV Unplugged was a great concept, departing from highly electrified/synthesized music. Now I need to try Jill Unplugged. I think Glenn would be happier about that. I was lightly plugged for a time (sharing a cell & email with Glenn, quitting Facebook — I can rationalize anything), but now I have a crackberry from work and just today discovered Pandora on my commute downtown. It’s hard to strike the balance. I haven’t found it yet, and I know Glenn is a little frustrated by it, although he was grateful for the rental car deal I found online for our upcoming trip…it’s not all bad. It’s a matter of prioritizing, and not thinking I have to multi-task my relationships. I haven’t even mentioned God…