From the moment I first started clicking away on the brand new Apple IIe computers at my grade school, I’ve loved computers.
But at times, I have hated them, too.
I’ve watched as they’ve both revolutionized the journalism industry (Goodbye, paste-up!) and watched as it slowly destroys it (Hello, internet!).
I’ve enjoyed the conveniences of keeping in touch via Facebook, and cursing like a sailor when my computer crashes.
The internet allows me to blog, to save money, to shop online, to share photos, to connect. Yet, at times, it can hinder real-life interactions. Technology is a double-edged sword.
And of course, as a cheapskate, the biggest thing that gets me is that nearly every gadget needs either batteries or to be recharged. All of this convenience and connectedness means we’re forced to rely on energy… energy that comes with both a financial and an environmental price.
It’s coming up on the time of year when I order new pages for my planner for the next year. The techie in me says it’s time to start using all of these wonderful electronic tools to keep track of my time (my smartphone, my iPod Touch, my laptop). It would certainly be cheaper for me to do this.
But the old-school side of me says, “Not so fast.” I love that in, at least one small way, I still put pen to paper every day – a skill that is disappearing these days.
I have 24/7 access to my paper planner. If the internet goes out or my laptop goes haywire, I can still access the details of my days. The biggest threat is loss or a spill, but frankly, not as scary as if those same things happened to an electronic device.
I hate how much energy is spent running all of these little gadgets. I hate that at times, we feel so tied to them, as if they were an extension of our digits.
I’m disgusted at the thought of how many batteries get tossed into landfills, how many cell phone chargers are abandoned in the dumpster when the hot new model is released.
All I can do is try to remember to shut down when I’m not using them and to use the energy-saving sleep functions on my gadgets during the day. I’m trying to limit the amount of new electronic devices that enter our home – especially when it comes to the kids’ toys. And I’m trying to remember to disconnect from the technology every once in awhile.
Love it or hate it, I need it to do what I do. All I can do is try to set a few boundaries.