Monday, January 27, 2014


I will write this as tactfully as I can, but please beware that I'm up on a pretty high horse that I enjoy riding. Keep a salt shaker handy and know that chances are I will get bucked off sooner or later…

Let me give a little background history on where I'm coming from. Growing up I've always felt at least 5 years behind on technology. This is probably because I grew up in the country: neighbours 1 mile away, nearest town 30 minute drive, no cell phone service, S--L--O--W Internet, and 3 TV channels kind of upbringing. I got my first cell phone and started using a digital no-film camera in 2006 when I graduated high school and moved out. I didn't really start texting till 2008. I remember typing on a type writer, printers that you had to tear the perforated sides off, and using encyclopedia books from home to do school work. Although at the time growing up I felt that I was somewhat missing out, looking back I wouldn't change it for the world. You know what this "simple life" childhood gave me? Values and self-esteem. It gave me the space I needed to find me and stand more firm in the midst of peer pressures. It also gave me a built in defiance to technological dependence.

When I'm with someone or a group of people and their eyes are glued to a phone, if they don't apologize or inform me of what they are doing on it I have one word in my head - REJECTION. This isn't the 'oh I'm not interesting enough to hold their attention' 'they must not care about me' therefore I feel rejected by them. This is the 'I must jump on top of my noble steed and ride far away from these mindless peasants' therefore I reject them. I realize this is sounding totally rude and a bit conceded of me but one of the things I value is independence and so when I see an adult so dependent on a screen that they cannot eat, sleep, breathe, shower, have a bathroom break, or be around other people without touching, holding, and staring at a screen I feel that I'm far too independent to ever relate to them. However, as soon as the phone is put down or an explanation given I feel free to trot back to their presence and dismount, "Hi."

If people depend on social media to carry out their lives, they're no longer living. 'If I don't post me playing with my kids everyday than people will think I don't spend time with my kids,' 'If I don't publicly announce what my child did and how I am disciplining them than people will think I am a bad parent.' 'If I don't post i love you to my spouse's wall everyday than people will think we don't love each other.' 'If I  don't post some photos of horses than people will think I'm a city slicker.' ' If I don't post immediately about my recent accomplishments than people will think I am not proud of the life I'm living.' 'If I don't post about my job than people will think I don't work hard.' 'If I don't immediately upload this amazing moment in time right this second as it's happening then people will think it never existed.'
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" I've never understood why this question exists... -does 2+2 really = 4? YES you dumb dumb!  I fear technology is creating a dependence of such strength that life and the very definition and meaning will be lost. When your first response to a crisis or emergency is to post it on the old FB, your intelligence has been taken from you. When the first response to an amazing happy, joyous occasion is to upload it immediately for all on-liners to see, you missed your moment. It is in the quiet of your heart that your spirit lives, not the reflection of others sunglasses.

Sometimes when I'm playing with my precious little one and she does something particular cute, funny or adorable (which is a 24/7 occurrence) I find my mind quickly jumps to "camera now!" But I'm now picking my moments to act on this. I'd rather miss a photo opportunity than shorten a childhood memory. I would rather be present in her life than hidden constantly behind a screen/lens. You know what's better than looking at photos? Being present in that moment and making it a memory to your spirit. Photos may spur you to remember a moment in time, but don't forget, photos are NOT the memory, photos are a thing, and things are not what cling to your spirit and last for the eternities. If you are feeling overwhelmed in being behind in editing, posting, printing or scrapbooking your photos, remember the memory has nothing to do with how or where the photo is. I don't have a photo of the most profound heartwarming memories I own, and yet they somehow exist none the less.

Technology has it's place and proper use, but I am shying away from putting myself in a position where my independence is lost. This is my phone... until they force me to change:

The dawn has come where people now have to compete with screens for attention, for interaction, for love, for time. Don't make this a war, stick to the right side.

Heaven's slice is putting your screen down and enjoying the moments in your life with the people in it.

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