I notice a lot of people of my generation have mixed feelings towards technology like television, video games, and the internet, as well as social networking sites and expensive igadgets.

Are we wasting our time? Our life? Are we just getting fatter and paler and losing the ability to concentrate?

Maybe these fears and biases are more prevalent in the crowd I roll with, which includes natural parenting, vegetarian, raw milk drinkers who ride their bicycles to work and bag their groceries from Whole Foods in organic hemp totes. But they are also plugged into Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, and Amazon via their smart phones.

I admit I am good and plugged in. My laptop is my diary, my record collection, my library, my encyclopedia, my social circle, and my writing outlet. When I go for a run (so as to not be so fat and pale), I strap my iphone to my arm and turn up my running playlist. My newest purchase is the iPad 2. And I am counting on it to add at least $500 of value to my life.

To that end, I just downloaded an app that is a food diary (people who keep a daily food diary lose more than twice as much weight as those who do not) with an extensive food database. It also has a calorie tracker, an exercise tracker, daily charts, and long term progress reports.

And as much as I am conflicted with Zuckerberg over his privacy policies, I am grateful to him for Facebook. I have friends and family all over the country, and being able to connect with them in real and meaningful ways has genuinely added to my life. The friendships I renewed, kindled, and developed on FB have saved me. Did you know that people with a strong support network of friends have lower stress, heal faster, and live longer?  And women with breast cancer who had a support group, lived twice as long as those who didn’t and had less pain. Take that, social networking naysayers!

Obviously, I am pro-tech. Yet I still collect actual paper books, play card games and old-style dungeons and dragons (with dice, paper and pen. Gasp!) and I take daily walks along the beautiful river in my small Midwestern town.

I admit I am still conflicted about the amount of time I spend online, even with all the obvious benefits. Are you conflicted? How do you balance your virtual world with your “Real Life?’

About Annamelle

I split my time between homeschooling and writing a novel. I'm interested in and inspired by fairy tales, Jung, Buddhism, myths, architecture, nature, etiquette, hidden histories, dreams, Emerson, old books, Gaiman, and legends. "Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you." — Emerson

Posted on June 4, 2011, in the interwebs. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I dare you to take the calorie app on the cruise.

  2. We are using the Teaching Company’s “Wisdom of History” course with the kids. The instructor lists the 10 lessons we learn from history (the first, of course, is that people don’t learn from history), one of which being that Science and Technology won’t stop humans from making the same mistakes. The machine gun didn’t end war, for example. That said, my tech supplements my life, and like anything, it can become addicting, but that’s where goals and personal philosophy come into play. My biggest issue is that goofing off online is INFINITELY more appealing than vacuuming, but we all have our personal demons.

  3. I am pretty addicted to my gadgetry. I have a lot of friends that don’t have tv in the house, or monitor screen time closely for the kids… We ebb and flow with it all, but tip more toward the plugged in side of the spectrum. There’s a lot to be said for going out and seeing what’s going on in the world for oneself…but it’s freaking hot out right now and I’m perfectly happy on my MacBook Pro while kid 1 watches a movie on Netflix and kid 2 plays his DSi XL. We’ll go outside tomorrow. Through my online social network I made plans to go to a local museum.

  4. Hey Kim, you know you can visit museums virtually, right? http://www.googleartproject.com/ :o)

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