Technology that is. I can only imagine the looks upon many of your faces right now. Those of you with your multiple technological devices. iPhones, iTouches, iPads, Kindles, Kindle fires. Neither my husband nor I own smart phones, nor do we even have unlimited texting. Shocking, I know! And if I have my way we won’t have smart phones for a very long time. Why? Because in today’s society it seems we have stopped communicating through talking and rely on our techie devices to deliver messages. Somewhere along the way we have lost the ability to effectively communicate.
What does this have to do with healthy living? Well, isn’t being able to communicate effectively a healthy way to live? I think so. I am constantly saying to friends and family that without open, honest communication we lose ourselves. We lose each other. If you don’t like how someone is treating you or you are unhappy with someone, tell them, don’t text them. Yes, sending an email or text might be easier, but the message isn’t always 100% clear or taken seriously, or maybe taken too seriously, and where is the actual communication? We need to talk to one another to resolve issues, understand each other, or at least figure out a way to live with each other. We can ignore it. We can post it on Facebook or Twitter. But is that healthy? Do we become stronger or more at ease with each other? No, probably not. We are putting up walls and the walls keep getting higher the more we cease to communicate by talking.
I fear for today’s children more than anything. Instead of talking with children at restaurants, or playing a game of tic tac toe to keep them occupied, I see parents hand over their iPhones or put a movie on an iPad to keep the kids quiet. I don’t know why this irks me so much, but it does. The kids might as well just be left at home with a babysitter if adults want to enjoy a night out alone. Even teenagers are playing on their iPhones at restaurants when they are out with their parents, or even their friends. What happens to these children when they become adults? Will they spend the time out texting others, checking the game scores, etc. instead of talking with the person they are with? How will this effect their relationships? Friends? Family? Romantic/Marital? Business? How will they really get to know the core of others? How will they know how to resolve conflict?
As a guest lecturer in high school health classes, or even in the midst of discussion with the young women I coach, I am infuriated to see them check their phones. Not for the time, but to see if they have missed a call or a text. What irritates me to a further degree is when they start texting or scrolling through their messages or the internet! How can they be so disrespectful? Is this what this generation of children is going to be like? Cell phone etiquette apparently needs to be taught, and not just to teenagers!
Instead of enjoying the outdoors and getting some physical exercise, it seems to me that adults and children alike, are more apt to be inside on their gadgets. Adults are texting, surfing the web, and even playing games on their smartphones instead of interacting with others or walking around the block. Children spend more time indoors playing games on their tablets, Wii, or other devices, instead of playing tag. I have seen parents at the park, library, or even in their own yard staring into their phones instead of staring into their children’s faces and having a conversation or playing hide and seek. Put down the device, and put on your running shoes.
While I concur that having some of these devices is helpful, they are still creating a barrier between people. Instead of stopping and asking for directions, folks rely on their GPS system. From what I understand soon even those systems like Garmin or Tom Tom will be extinct, and if you want a GPS you will be forced to get a smartphone. My Garmin Nuvi recently had to be trashed, and I am going “old school” by consulting map quest and/or writing down directions before I leave the house. If I get lost, I might just have to stop and talk to someone to get directions!
P.S. Check out this article about a family that banned all technology made after 1986! The father is the guy with the mullet in the picture at the beginning of the post!