I read an article this week talking about how narcissistic our society is becoming because of technology. People join Facebook to show photos and post status updates about themselves, and people join Twitter to send out random sound bites about themselves. Driving around and can’t decide where to go to lunch? Don’t worry, you can check maps and reviews, plus call all of your friends for opinions from the comfort of your driver’s seat. Technology is bringing us closer together, but ironically it’s bringing us farther apart because no one talks to each other any more. At my past job, I worked with college students who would rather text me from the next room than come in and talk to me face-to-face. Yikes.
Major pet peeve: people who keep their cell phones on the table while you’re having lunch, so they can keep checking email or texts every 30 seconds. Really? That text can’t wait until we’re done eating? Am I that awful that you can’t bear sitting through a 45-minute lunch without running for the cyber hills? My thinking is that if you take the time to get together in person, you should have a real conversation without any electronic distractions.
The irony of course is that I’m talking about this on a blog, which is arguably the apex of technological self-love. (You mean there are random people out in cyberspace that actually care about what I have to say? Sweet! Let’s see how many times I can use the word “I” in a paragraph!) I’ve never thought of myself as tech savvy. Far from it, I consider myself one of the least technologically advanced people I know. I don’t text unless I have to, I don’t have a Twitter account, my cell phone is so basic it doesn’t have a touch screen or a keyboard, I hardly know how to work our blu-ray player, and I certainly don’t know what all the little wire thingies are behind our computer desk. But apparently just having a blog makes me a tech-savvy narcissist. I guess I’m cool with that. Somehow it makes me appear like I belong in the twenty-first century instead of the 1950s. (15 times, for those of you who weren’t counting)
I’m not sure if technology has really made us more narcissistic, or if it has simply enabled our innate desire to be noticed and appreciated. Everyone wants to be loved. My concern is how this all will affect Sweet Pea in a few years. Kids are getting cell phones under the age of 10, they make iPhone apps for kids under 5, and Sweet Pea has many electronic toys for babies 0 months and up. Does a 6-year-old really need a cell phone? I’m sure some parents would argue yes, but really? Where would they go that no adult with a cell phone or (gasp!) land line would be present? And if they are alone without an adult, don’t you have bigger problems than whether or not your child needs a cell phone? I know they say you should never make parenting promises before the fact, because you never know how you’re going to react in a given situation. But I can’t imagine a time when connecting with Sweet Pea face-to-face over dinner would be less important that checking text messages or finding out if some celebrity just got out of rehab.
Family loves you no matter what. You can’t say that about a Twitter feed.