For quite a while now we hear all about how the younger generation are addicted to their electronic devices. Hardly a day passes by that we don't hear the dreaded "back in my day" or the regular memes on Facebook that tell us that people are grateful that they grew up in a day where they played outside before technology took over.
I don't agree. I actually enjoy technology. I get how young people connect on it (yes I did say "young people"). Having watched my two boys grow up playing games like Minecraft and enjoying a digital playground together, it makes sense to me that they would do something similar as they grew older. Are kids awkward in face to face situation? Of course, they are! Was I any better? No way! I was as awkward at talking to the old people as they are. Do they get along together face to face, they sure do. Do I need to worry? Perhaps a little, but like anything that can be a problem, it needs to be managed. That's my role as a parent. To manage their education in life for them to make good decisions. Sometimes I need to make those decisions for them. Other times I need them to make good and bad decisions, just like we all do, every day.
What scares me more is not how often they are on the phones, iPads or game consoles but how often I am. I love facebook even if it is now regarded as an old persons social media platform. I enjoy Instagram, twitter and pinterest. I know the basics of Snapchat but don't really like the idea of taking photos all the time! I really enjoy those inanely stupid games that you can play. I can waste hours and hours on them from Clash of Clans to matching games to role-playing games. They can eat up lots of my downtime.
I realised recently that I spend far too much time either on my phone, iPad or with the TV on. As I write this, I have the TV on in the background.
They say that the first step in dealing with an addiction is admitting it, well here it is.
I am addicted to technology. I find myself picking up my devices without even thinking about it. I check for notifications all the time. To relax, I watch TV or a movie and play on my iPad. It has to stop. It just has too.
I want to write books. I want to write novels and theological thesis. I want to blog. I want to let out the creativity sitting inside me. All of that remains trapped within me as I detach with technology.
I want to read. To read the twenty odd books sitting in my to be read pile. I want to spend more time reading the Bible and reading about the Bible. I want to read the top 100 novels of all time. I want to read and read and read. I also still want to be connected. I want to know what's going on in the world and the lives of other people. I even want to play the occasional game.
I need to keep it all in balance. The connection is important. Social media is important. Technology in itself is not the problem. My balance with it is. My addiction to it is.
How do I do that? I've got a few ideas but that's for another day. For this post, I needed to admit to the problem. Do you have the same problem? Do you need to do something different? Are there things in life that are floating past you because you are stuck?
Let's work on it together. Until the next post.