Balancing Technology

Aug 5, 2014 by

I received a great email from a beautiful and intelligent (assuming) reader named Valerie.  She was referencing a post about camping and asking about the the balance of technology with her teenage and younger kids and wanted my input.  Here is some of what I responded with:

I love camping with my friends, family and all the kids in that group.  That said, those kids pictured in the Orange Roll Recipe are not mine.  They belong to a close friend of mine, but I have known them their entire life and we’ve been camping many times together.  That said, my first kid is only 10 months old, so we have not yet had to struggle with the proper use and limits of technology in his life yet, but we are already starting to.

I don’t want us to use the TV as a baby sitter or have him be one of those children that can’t go out to eat, or be anywhere without an iPad and be constantly entertained.  That said, he loves his Baby Einstein videos and I don’t want to judge those parents as not having been in their shoes yet.

I love technology.  It’s been my work and hobbies for many years now and I am loving the amazing things it allows us to do.  That said, like any tool it can be abused and misappropriated for unhealthy purposes.  Just this month I’ve given up playing a video game I’ve been realizing I spend a little too much time playing.  It’s about finding a balance.

childhood

I recently found this image on my Facebook feed and it resonated with me.  While I love technology, I am SO grateful to grow up without a lot of it.  I’m so happy I got to run and play in the woods and didn’t spend time staring at a tablet.  Now I did have a Nintendo growing up, and learned how to use a computer from a very young age, which I also love, but I really do cherish the “play time” I had with friends riding bikes and running around the neighborhood until the sun went down.

I hope we set appropriate boundaries with our son with technology.  I hope he has a wonderful curiosity about technology and wants to know how it works and how to make it work instead of just consuming or playing games.  That is the struggle I see ahead of us and the balance I hope to strike.  I’m already suggesting to my wife and mother not to let him play with their iPhones as he will be clamoring for such devices soon enough.

I don’t enjoy seeing families with all their kids head’s buried in their devices all the time.  I hope we don’t become one of those families, yet I must acknowledge we are living in a different time.  I can’t even imagine how pervasive and cheap such devices will be when my son enters school.  I’m all for using technology to empower our lives.  I hope they find a way to use it in the classroom to help the children learn more and more efficiently, but I hope it doesn’t come at the cost of robbing their childhood of real playtime outdoors with friends and just their imaginations.  I foresee us setting strict limits on screen time vs outdoor play time.  I hope to take my son camping often and all over so he can learn to appreciate the great outdoors and all it offers.  I hope we can find the right balance of using technology to empower our lives and not wasting it away consuming nonsense.

So what is your balance with technology?  Do you take a technology Sabbath and put the phones away for a while?  Do you limit your own or your kids screen time?  I would love to hear what ideas and solutions you’ve implemented in your house.

Ben…

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1-A-Week: Week 23: I am a tech hoarder

Jun 16, 2011 by

The 1aw project is great for after you’ve done a big purge of stuff you don’t need, want or use anymore. If you’ve got rooms and closets full of stuff to get rid of it makes little sense to do it one item at a time. You need to purge that stuff in one big move. Then start the 1aw to look deeper at the stuff you don’t need and you can get rid of those things one by one.

I’ve done some big purges of clothes and random junk over time and have been enjoying digging deeper with the 1aw project to get rid of even more stuff I don’t need, use, or want.

Last night I set out to clean out a section of my closet where I keep all my electronics junk. My brother in law had his hard drive crash on his laptop and I thought I had an extra one he could use so I set out to find it. I found it but I also found a lot more.

I am apparently a technology hoarder. I don’t save a lot of stuff but apparently when it comes to cables, adapters and hard drives I save those all day long.

I found 18 hard drives, 9 apple monitor adapters, 6 keyboards, 4 mice and more cables than you can shake a stick at.

I also found a lot of stuff to get rid of for my 1aw. Old video cards and an old Blackberry phone are among the pile of stuff that’s going out this week.

I’ve been meaning to clean out that part of the closet for a while now so I was happy to get it done. Also happy to find the hard drive to give to my brother in law to save him from having to buy one.

If you havent started the 1aw project yet you may want to take a look around and do one big purge first to get you started. Start with a closet or one room first. Remove everything from the room or closet and only put back what you actually use, need or want. Get rid of everything else.

One of my next projects is to go through all 18 hard drives and transfer the data to a single drive and get rid of the rest of them.

Ben…

1AW is a project by which I’m getting rid of at least 1 thing each week that I do not need, want, or use anymore. Doing at least one thing per week helps me reduce the clutter in my life and make room for what is truly important.

What are you getting rid of this week? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Simple fix: Convert a SIM to a MicroSIM… with a Meat Cleaver!

May 5, 2010 by

Here is something i would have never thought would work, but hey i don’t know that much about sim cards except to say that whenever i put one into my iphone it drops calls.  Get it?  That was a joke about how bad AT&T’s network is.   But i digress…

Well this guy knew more about how sim cards work and made this awesome Sim to MicroSim card hack or slice rather.

Apparently you can just cut it to fit and it works.  Who knew?

Read how he did and see the cut by cut details. Its awesome.

Ben…

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