Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Technology-love it or hate it?

I am addicted to technology. I could NEVER ever survive being a stay-at-home mom without Facebook, email, and my blog. However, sometimes I wonder if technology is a bad thing. I have come to believe that I have a love/hate relationship with technology. 

I love technology. The internet keeps me company during the day and helps me stay connected to the outside world. Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom can be so isolating. The internet gives me something to do and people to connect with. It's also been a great way to get ideas and support from other moms. (And a great way to stalk hot celebrities like Adam Levine and Ryan Reynolds!) 

I love Facebook and email! They both allow me to share pictures and stories about my son with close friends and family members. This became especially helpful last year when we moved 5 hours away from all of our family. Because of Facebook and email, A's grandmas and aunts are able to keep tabs on him and see how he is growing and what mischief he is getting into. 

 Facebook also helps me stay connected to old friends. You see, I'm one of those rare people who has pretty much kept all of my friends from preschool, elementary, and middle school. Thanks to technological advances like Facebook, email, and cell phones, we have been able to keep in touch 20+ years later. Of course, I'd like to think we would have stayed in touch anyway, but technology sure makes it easier! Ditto for old friends and co-workers from Georgia. 

I love Skype! I was about 8 weeks pregnant with A when my sister was deployed to Iraq. Skype video chat gave me a chance to keep her updated on my pregnancy. I still remember how annoyed she got whenever we were video chatting and I pulled my shirt up to show her my growing belly. I also remember how grossed out she got when I showed her out first 3D ultrasound. But the best Skype moment we had was when I was in labor. I'd sent her an email letting her know that I was having some contractions and was heading to the hospital to get them checked out. I told her it was probably nothing, but wanted to give her a heads up just in case. When she didn't hear from anyone hours later, she decided to use Skype to call my mom's cell phone from Iraq. As luck would have it, she happened to call at the exact moment the doctor told me to push. "Hang on," my mom told her, "I'll put you on speakerphone!!"

Since A came out in about 3 or 4 pushes, my sister was able to hear the whole thing over the phone from Iraq. She even got to hear her first nephew's FIRST cry. It was such an awesome moment-one that never could have happened without technology.

As I said before though, I have a love/HATE relationship with technology. Hear me out. 

I hate Words with Friends and all Facebook games. An old neighbor invited me to play Words with Friends.  It's like an online scrabble game. I tried to be a sport and play a few rounds but he kicked my ass every time so I gave up. Meanwhile, the hubby got into it. I mean REALLY into it. He plays for hours. Not only that, but he constantly checks his phone and Kindle Fire to see if it's his turn to play a word. 

It got to the point where I swear it was ruining our marriage! Just his smartphone and Kindle in general. After Thanksgiving and Christmas, I almost took that damn cell phone and ran it over with my car. At both holiday dinners, he spent the whole time on his phone or Kindle. He even did it at his own birthday dinner! What really ticked me off was that we only see our families about 6-8 times a year now and that's how he chose to spend his time. On a cell phone?!?! 

Every night, I was going to bed alone because hubs was too in the middle of a thrilling Words with Friends game. One night, I decided to test just how into his game he really was. I sat on the couch across from him for about 5 minutes completely topless: on at least TWO occasions! The man did not even look up from his Kindle! Hmm, what does that say about me??? (Time to hit the gym tomorrow??) I asked him if there might be a support group for men like him who are addicted to their cell phones. Surely he can't be the only one!

In fact, I have several female friends with the same problem. Their husbands come home from work and are constantly checking their phones or email. Or playing video games! What is it about men and technology??? Are they not evolved enough to know when is and when isn't an appropriate time to use it?  (No offense male readers-just an observation...)

I hate RPGs. What are RPGs you may ask? RPG stands for role playing games. NO-NOT SEXUAL role playing games. NERDY role playing games. Think: Dungeons and dragons. (Or think Big Bang Theory!) Hubby used to play these types of online games before we got together. A few months ago, he realized that thanks to new technology there is a way to download these old games to our computer. Well, that caused problems because I like to use the laptop computer at night for Facebook surfing and blogging. So there we were, like children, fighting over whose turn it was to use the laptop. Then he decided to use it when I was done with the computer. Which meant more nights of me going to bed alone. Finally he was able to get the game on his Kindle Fire so he plays that every night now. He is getting better I must say. He doesn't play until all the housework is done and he does come to bed with me now. Good, because I hate sleeping alone. Isn't that why I got married?

Now, I'm not totally innocent here either. Sometimes I choose to surf Facebook after dinner so that hubs gets stuck doing the dishes. Tonight, I have been sitting with my laptop and blogging for about 45 minutes now. During that time I haven't looked at or talked to hubby ONCE. We are both in our technological zones. For those of you who remember my blog "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini", hubby and I got along so well on a recent vacation to the Dominican Republic. Why? (Besides the Mama Juana rum.....) Because we didn't have access to technology! It was like the dark ages, when couples actually had to talk and do things together. Amazing how close we became after a week-long break from technology. 

In summary, I can't decide whether I love or hate technology. When it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family- I love it! When it comes to the fact that it interferes with my marriage- I hate it! 

Readers: I will leave you with one last technology story that will hopefully make you laugh as hard as I did. Last night, I asked hubby to look at some possible vacation rental homes that I spent hours researching. He looked at them for about 5 minutes, the starting playing his RPG. When I realized what he was doing, I snapped at him. A few minutes later he told me he was signing off. But not because of anything I did or said. Come to find out, he had been playing with someone in this RPG (still don't get what it is, I think it's some Medieval type game but whatever) and he started complaining about me-his wife. He said, "I gotta go, my wife is nagging me."

To which the person he was playing responded, "Wife??? How old are you?"

"I'm thirty-four," my husband informed his co-player. "How old are you?

"Eleven!" the kid replied. Yep, ELEVEN! The hubby spent the better part of the evening playing some Medieval game with an 11 year old. Boy was he embarrassed! 

Not too embarrassed enough to keep him from playing tonight though....I guess they never fully grow up after all. 

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