Thursday, July 22, 2010

The wonderful world of technology

To be honest, sometimes I hate technology.

I was just having a conversation about this with my coworker. How we're always working to improve, to do better, make things easier. OK. I get it. I love indoor plumbing as much as the next person. I am attached to my computer at the hip. I love IM, and even though I don't text (I know, shocking, right? Especially since I am in the age and era to do so), I totally have my cell on me at all times.

That's like, plus-5,000 points for technology. Woo-hoo!

But then I start to notice--like, how many kids stay inside to play video games instead of allowing their imagination to take over? Nothing against video games or rpgs (my bro is addicted to an rpg, and I'm in love with Rock Band. Best game ever made!)--just, what about bicycles and baseball, legos and tree houses? My favorite games from when I was little were imagined. My brother and I used to play "shipwrecked." I swear, I was obsessed with shipwrecks! Probably because I'm land-locked. Anyway, we had this old inflatable mattress that we blew up when company came. Afterward, bro and I would load it up with blankets and whatever else was handy. It became a raft in the ocean. Bro would be the captain, I would be the doctor, and we would look for land, weather storms, call for help. It was the *best.* Sometimes our cousins played along, and we would all sail those seas together. In fact, it was practically the only game that bro would play with us, if they were there.

I made mud cakes and watched bro dig holes in the ground, which we'd fill up with water and then take turns jumping into for, basically, mud baths. We played spy games, "parachuted" our cabbage patch dolls down the stairs using plastic bags. We traveled through time when we played, no matter what we played with. Bro knew everything, and I followed his lead.

It was awesome. Maybe that's partly why I am into the things I am.

I know I get reminiscent, sort of dreamy. I believe in saving traditions. I long for the sweet-tasting, sun-swept summers of my youth.

And I work at a museum.

Now, we are learning to record oral histories. We've been doing this for years, but the technology keeps changing. First it was only written, then with photo copies, then cassette tapes. We moved to video, then DVDs and CDs. And now, I'm learning to interview people across the country with Skype.

It is super-cool, and I'm so very excited about it--I'm over the moon!

I love that technology can be used to trap a piece of the past, to give to the future. I love that.

Yes, technology can be great. And it can be overrated. It's simpler by far to do things without. Some people say it's character-building. Hey, I'm the first to admit that I hope to never use an outhouse. Ever. Ever. I love that we work constantly to better ourselves. I love the great inventions that we use everyday, that we will use everyday in the future.

But sometimes, I feel torn.


Stephanie Thornton said...

Yay! Another non-texter- I think we're a dying breed!

Mary McDonald said...

That is so true. My daughter was getting too attached to her computer, so we had to limit it for a few days.She has a great imagination, and when she's left to her own devices, she goes off and plays with her stuffed animals. Even now, I can hear her in the other room talking in her 'animal' voices. lol. She'll be ten soon, so I don't have too many days left of overhearing the pretend play.

Amalia T. said...

I used to play make-believe games ALL the time as a kid. ALL the time. So I know exactly what you mean! When/if I have kids, you can bet that I will make sure they learn the JOY of the empty giant cardboard box. (is there anything better?)

Just Another Sarah said...

Stephanie--I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only non-texter in the world! I think you're right about our dwindling number.

Mary--Awesome! Those are the memories that stick, I think. I'm so glad to hear that you encourage that sort of play!

Amalia--we had a giant refrigerator box that I played in until it broke apart. There is SO nothing better.

Anonymous said...

That made me nostalgic thinking about the games I played with my brother when we were kids and still young enough not to think of each other as a "big dufus". I love watching my nieces play together or listen to them speak to one another as they fall asleep at night. They have their own little language that I envy.
Technology is great for keeping me organized, but if your life gets busier because of it then something is off kilter. - G