Tech-ville: How Much is Too Much?

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I’m in flight to NYC, this time my babies are buckled next to me.  They are so excited to be taking an early spring break and heading out for an adventure with David and me. 

They really are great travelers and finally at an age that they can enjoy the city.  I’ll take them on the cheesy Central Park carriage ride that holds many types of memories for all of my children.  Shay will for sure want to see the Empire State Building and search for King Kong.  He hopes that I bring Kong home or at least a pic every time I’m working in the city.

Being trapped on the plane with Internet service and my kids glued to the tube has been surprisingly great!  I’ve been forced to bury my nose in my computer and catch up on literally 1224 e-mails.  It’s crazy how mine pile up and too many go unread. 

Part of the reason is because I try not to work at home so I can spend more quality time with my family – honestly that usually means me in the kitchen cooking for everyone. But if I disappeared to web-ville or allowed my kids to live in a tech zone, we would never connect.

I recently had to put a time restriction on all things tech except for family video game tournaments so my kids would engage with each other more.  My oldest who is 12 now would prefer to stay in her room iChatting, watching downloaded movies and only come out for food and questions – if I allowed her to.  The rest of my kids could kill hours playing their iTouch and watching TiVo lists.  So now they all get only one hour per day to spend in a disconnected world and the rest has to be shared being present.

The other night while my daughter was having a family sleepover with her cousins and sisters – 5 kids lying side by side on floor mattresses- I decided to join in and hang out with them.  “Cool Mom,” they said.  “Finally you want to be a fun Mom!” 

So in I went to find all of them lying down – and each one had their laptop open as if they were cracking a top-secret assignment.  “Get your laptop, Mom”, my oldest said, “C’mon it will be fun!”  So I did and when I lay down beside them, she said, “Let’s iChat, I’ll set you up.”  Confused I said, “But I’m right here, why would I want to talk to you guys through a computer?” 

“Just try it Mom, it’s fun!” she said as she signed me in….

Now get this, there wasn’t even an image, they were all typing a conversation to each other, lying so close they were touching, and I had to capture the moment to prove the scene!

Seriously…. I thought.  This is what you guys do for hours while locked up in your room…. 

I closed up my computer, went back to bed in disbelief, and wonder what the hell kind of a time we are in. 

I am constantly on my daughter about texting me with more love and less fine tic communication.  But it really is a tech language that her generation speaks.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a pic of how I communicate these days while my daughter is at her father’s.  This I can live with because we are 20 miles apart on some days and at least I get to see her cute face.

It’s crazy! But then again I’m a Twitter-holic so who am I to talk?  I do demand that we communicate and connect as a family in a real way.  Even if it’s “old fashioned,” I’ll never give up on the value of tone and touch.

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