I feel – refreshed. I’ve just found a young person who is not obsessed with the internet.Or Facebook. Or constantly texting and Twittering. For security reasons, I’ll call her “M.” M is a college student. She uses the internet when she needs to for school or convenience, but she doesn’t have internet access at home. No constant obsession with Facebook. She has a FB account, but doesn’t really use it much. She can’t shoot off quick status updates or emails to her friends. Instead, she might actually have to call someone, or gasp, talk to them in person. M is not a Luddite; she’s just a refreshingly practical person who decided that internet access is low priority compared to all the other places her money needs to go. M is one of my climbing wall buddies. On Wednesday nights while she is scrambling all over the wall like one of the Flying Wallendas, her peers are sitting somewhere drinking high-calorie lattes’ and tapping away at their computers or phones. M is studying exercise science and outdoor recreation, a focus that could no doubt lead her to a career someday of getting overweight people to be active and play outside. She shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job, since about 50% of our population is now either overweight or obese
I came home after this conversation feeling renewed and nostalgic, just in time to catch most of Modern Family. Yes, I know here I am expounding about people sitting around too much and then I come home and watch TV. But I had just been to the gym, so give me a break.
Anyway, in this episode, the mom Claire becomes concerned that her family is spending too much time sitting and using electronic devices. She bans the use of anything electronic for a week – computer, cell phone, video games, iPad, Pod, Touch, etc and offers a prize to the person who lasts the longest. Of course, in no time at all Claire tries to make an airline reservation by phone instead of online, and quickly caves when she finds out how difficult it is.
Internet, electronic devices – blessing or curse? They’re great for convenience for things like making reservations, instant communication, online banking,
shopping and the like. But they can become a curse when they keep us from talking to the person right in front of us, or so occupy us with inactivity that we no longer play outside. I’m concerned when I see a group of people sitting together texting and playing with their phones instead of talking to each other. Or when I see children who are great at video games, but no longer play outside games. And don’t even get me started on our obesity epidemic – that’s another blog all together. Can we temper our electronic device use to a sensible level like M? Your comments please. Meanwhile, I’m going for a bike ride.