The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

Actually, I've been saying this all along. But it doesn't stop me from pulling my computer out every time my butt hits a chair. I often think about the ramifications of all this "online-ness" on my kids. When I was their age, a computer at home was so space age! Offices didn't even have them. (I'm giving away my age here!!)

We are a four-computer family. Three of us live here.

How does one balance the changing times and technology with having an actual life?! They are so intertwined now...!

We have instituted what we call "No Screen Sunday" in our home. The first Sunday we tried it, we decided to go to a movie. Oops. Then, as iPhone and Blackberry users, we debated on whether cell phones counted. We learned that you can't go anywhere or do anything and not be accosted by a screen. Even on the bus on my morning commute I am treated to the transit version of the news (in Spanish and English)! Are we really that unable to entertain ourselves?

We have high hopes for this Sunday. In the meantime, I think I'm really going to go try that life thing.....

Views: 9

Comment by SydTheSkeptic on February 19, 2009 at 2:01pm
I agree with this concern. I'm a living example of it! lol
Too much of anything is not good. Moderation... must...pull...away....

Comment by JustAnotherUserName on February 19, 2009 at 2:19pm
@ Kellia. I guess because it's not real. It's virtual. I have all kinds of online "friends," but few of them are actual met-in-person friends which does make it different. I don't think any less 'legitimate,' but it's not the same as personal interaction.

Many a time I've met my online friends in real life to find that in real life they are NOTHING like their online persona. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE being online and value many of my virtual friendships. But like the article states, it really changes the basic social building blocks involved in forming actual, personal relationships. It may even hinder our ability to do so, especially in the case of our children who have grown up with this technology. runs in your family :-)
Comment by Pypermarru1 on February 19, 2009 at 2:48pm
WOW...this is so strange. I was recently talking to a friend about this. I have so much to say on the matter, been thinking about it a lot lately. Not to worry, I will not be boring ya'll with it.
I spent most of my time in California socializing and on the go, move to New Mexico and spend all my social time on the computer. Now that I am settled in, I am growing tired of virtual life and am begining to crave my old life back. All this was triggered when I asked an old cali friend why they aren't on line so I can bug um...she says "Oh sweety, you know how our group of friends are, if we arent playing racquetball were at the pub, if we arent at the pub were chill'n in Sandys backyard making fun of eachother". Course they arent spending their time on line...they are doing what I use to do.....Socializing and bonding face to face.

I agree with what you are saying, virtual and real are completly different. I find the real life friend more rewarding than a video of a friend, I may never meet. I use to get bored and head to a friends house and hang out, now I spend it on line. I have spoken and met people from on-line and I too am suprised at the difference.
Bottom-line is that some people pprefer virtual world to living in the real one, for whatever reason. No judgement on that, just what they want, how they choose to spend their lives.

Virtual is fun and can be addicting, but I need to get back to what I really enjoy......face time with friends. ;)
You must be able to read my knew I was thinking about this subject for a while now.....creepy .....
Comment by JustAnotherUserName on February 19, 2009 at 2:54pm
@Pyper....sounds like a weekend in LA is in order for you! And you'd BETTER call when you get here!!
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on February 19, 2009 at 2:57pm
My biggest issue with the online thing is that there are too many distractions. I have so much to do, and a lot of my goals get sidetracked just because I'll sit down to start on lesson planning or continue with a piece of writing and first I'll check into my email and that SUCKS me right in! Before I know it, a couple of hours have gone by!!!

So much for that novel, or a bunch of other worthy endeavors...! I've been thinking a lot about this myself (which is why I haven't been as active...) It's a very gradual change for me, but a change nonetheless.

I also wish I had more time on my hands to actually create the kind of videos I'm most proud of - not so much for an audience, but as a joyful hobby, for myself and my family.

The socializing is a whole other creature...

Hey Pyper!! Shooting range this weekend? hehe
Comment by JustAnotherUserName on February 19, 2009 at 3:23pm
@Deb...David and I play scrabble all the time...ONLINE!!! At the same table! I made a video about it once. We're relentless...and very competitive because of the rating system.

I love technology. My boss calls me "gadget girl," because I'm always trying to upgrade our technology here. It's more the 'social' aspect of all this online stuff that has been concerning me. It's not really social at all. I don't really think my kid would leave the house if I didn't push him out the door. He's content to communicate via Facebook and AOL Instant Messenger. I have actually IM'd him to tell him that dinner was ready! No lie!!

I don't know the answer or if it's good or bad. But I do know this--I didn't have a remote control until I was in high school :-)
Comment by NatureJunkie on February 19, 2009 at 3:31pm
Very interesting article, Ruth. I share that psychologist's concerns, the chief one being that instead of embellishing our social lives, networking sites are replacing them. Some of my online relationships have been extremely fulfilling (and very real), but in general, online relationships don't replace human touch, they don't enable children to expand their social skills with conversation and body language, and they will no doubt alter how the coming generation perceives humor. (I'm beginning to hear people say "LOL" outloud in their conversations--that's a clue that verbal humor is starting to need the same kind of "helps" we give written humor online.)

One of my biggest worries is that while increasing numbers of people invest their time in online relationships, they are becoming isolated from the flesh-and-blood people in their lives. What will happen to our concept of loyalty to community when we no longer know our neighbors or even our co-workers?
Comment by JustAnotherUserName on February 19, 2009 at 3:36pm
@Robin--Exactly! That's what I've been trying to say. You did a MUCH better job!
Comment by JustAnotherUserName on February 19, 2009 at 4:08pm
HAHA!!! Yes...I was definitely the biggest surprise in that group :-)
Comment by photo2010 on February 19, 2009 at 6:58pm
I have been pleasantly surprised for the most party by those who I first met online and later in RL I have made two trips for gatherings, one in NYC and another in Las Vegas, and had awesome experiences. Now it is too difficult for me to make trips like that, but had I not been online, I wouldn't have met those people. I now value my online friendships as much, but I agree that ideally there should be a mix of online and RL. There is a correlation between the telephone and the computer that I think can be made. In many ways they have both brought us all closer together and made us LESS isolated.


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