Monday, March 14, 2011

the double edged sword of technology

Some months ago I was introduced to Google calendar. I was sceptical - I'm organised, efficient, with a relatively good memory, and a perfectly adequate calendar hanging on the wall (in the same place for the past 5 years in fact). Why did i need an electronic calendar? just more information to remember to input right? just more reminders and emails to wade through each morning surely?

Well, because I am so openminded and willing to try new things (;)), I gave it a go. Now, a year down the track, I seriously don't know what I would do with out it. Everything I do is on there - the hours I put into my jobs, the pickups and drop offs for school, dancing, visits to Dad, play dates, sleepovers, my hobbies, church and community commitments, my dance classes! I find now i've turned into one of those people that says, 'oh the 15th? eerm, let me check my diary and get back to you...'. It's brilliant!

But the one thing that worries me...have I - have we all - become too reliant on technology? Sure, i would remember MOST of the things on each days schedule, but certainly not all. And I love being able to input something 3 or 6 or more weeks (or months) away and then be able to put it out of my mind until much closer to the time. Add on my mobile phone, the only place i keep easily retrieveable contact information. Places like Facebook where I can catch up on my friends comings and goings. Email. Blog feeds. Twitter. TradeMe to buy anything I want. iTunes and the MP3 player. Live updates on world events on the internet.

downside: I have a pile of books beside the bed, largely unread. Can't remember the last time I read a newspaper from front to back. I hardly watch the TV (oh...that's good, right!).

upside: Both of my main jobs are done largely via email and telephone which affords me the luxury of working from home, at any time of the day or night, to fit around kids. I compose the Village Voice using email, send it off via email for formatting and get it back as a finished publisher document. so so easy. The time i spend with 'real people' is real time - meaningful conversation with friends, fun with the children, being in the outdoors, enjoying music.

Conclusion - reliant? yes. addicted?..well maybe. balanced...yes for sure.
converted? absolutely!

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