Friday, October 14, 2011

Losing Our Voices

We live in such a tech savvy world. I love new technology. I love the latest Apple products. I use technology a lot, and it helps me manage my life. If it weren't for my calendar reminders, I'd be leaving kids at school, forgetting to get them from practice or standing up a client for an appointment. So much goes on in my life, that having reminders pop up on my iPhone/iPad/Mac helps me better manage our family's schedule and my own.

Communicating on email and Facebook and sending and receiving texts are all such quick, and usually efficient, ways to communicate. Because there are so many ways to get in touch with someone, I sometimes have to decipher and remember which way is most efficient for whom.

Sending an email to my kids is not productive. Texting them is (for the most part), and as technology continues to improve, I see email fading away as an effective way to communicate in a timely manner. Urgency to respond to email is waning quickly while texting seems to be get an almost immediate reaction from some, and it creates a sense of urgency for a response.  

Our technology, sadly, seems to be replacing the use of our voice on the telephone and the need (perhaps even desire) to meet face-to-face. These human touch interactions are no longer efficient forms of communicating, and our society continues to demand "instantaneous-ism". Truth is, society can demand it because technology continues to deliver...taking it a notch up every time.

We are doing so much because we can do so much because we have the technology to do so much, and if we aren't doing enough, to accomplish as much, then we are left behind...or at least we may feel that way in the not-too-distant future. I'm afraid we are losing our voices...literally and figuratively. Of course, technology is a great tool for having voice in a matter, a cause, a least it's perceived to be that way.

Really, though, if there is no voice to the matter, the cause or the relationship, chances are, it won't last long. That's because things that matter take time and interaction...physical not just technological. Technology isn't enough to sustain our race. We need the touch of other humans. We need someone to hear our actual voice. We need to engage. We were made for relationship.

What happens though if technology trumps relationship? It's the beginning of the end, but I don't think we will allow that to happen; however, we do have to remember to exercise our voice, to allow ourselves to untether from our smart phones and computers...perhaps even cut the technical apendage that some of us have grown (myself included).

So, for the Donahue Crew, we are taking on a 48 hour tech free challenge. Actually, Don and I are taking it on and imposing it on our teens and preteen. The idea has been met with much resistance and negativity. Oh, well, we'll see.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Tech free starts at midnight (Oct. 15, 2011) and ends 48 hours later. Computers shut down, wifi disabled, no TV, no texting, no phones (except one for emergency). We plan to play games on real boards with real pieces, read real books with pages you have to actually turn, and talk face-to-face with nothing chiming, dinging, ringing or beeping to distract us from each other.

Here goes...

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