Technology Is Destroying My Family #HELP

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Family-on-phonesA few years ago, my husband and I lived on a farm with our first-born. There were many down-sides to farm-living. The spiders as big as my fist, there was no Chinese food delivery that would come to us, and when it snowed we couldn’t go anywhere for two weeks until our neighbor up the road finally came and plowed us out. There was also terrible cell phone service which meant if I wanted to make a call I had to stand in the doorway between the kitchen and living room and not move a muscle.

The only perk to this was that if you found yourself in a less than desirable conversation you could easily get away with hanging up the phone and pretending you lost service. (JK, Mom, I never did that). There were only three channels on tv and the internet was spotty on a good day. After many failed attempts to get Comcast to come fix the situation, it turned out we were simply in a “black hole.” There was no getting quality internet or television service in the quarter mile around our shabby digs.

Despite being barely connected to the outside world, once my baby blues faded, life was simpler in a lot of ways. While nothing about having a newborn is easy, we lived a much slower paced version of life on the farm than we do now, just under five years later on the edge of a big city. I’m not sure I could go back- not at this point in my life, with two kids and the desire to be close to neighbors, friends, and schools. But there’s a lot to be said for being that disconnected in terms of technology. Living in a “black hole” forces you to connect to what’s going on inside your four walls. And having that kind of uninterrupted connection without even having to think about it, well, I’d give just about anything to have that back.

Most days on the farm were the same. I was home with the baby and my husband worked and commuted at least two hours a day. But when he got home in the evening and we put our daughter to bed, it was just us. Maybe we watched something on ABC or NBC once in a while. But usually, we drank wine and sat on our screened-in porch, even when it was freezing cold. We huddled together under a blanket and listened to music. We talked. Maybe read. We ate. We enjoyed each other. There was no third party to our relationship, minus the actual human being asleep in the nursery. There were no iPhones to look at thirty times an hour. No Instagram to update. No one to stalk on Facebook. If I had something to write, which occasionally I did, though I wasn’t working as much as I am now, it got done during “work” hours. It never bled into the night, into our time, and neither did my husband’s work.

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