One day, my darling husband went to the van to pick up his iPod only to find it submerged under water in our junk bucket between the front seats. It seems a water bottle leaked and filled the bucket enough to completely cover the iPod.
At my husband’s work, one day a week my husband literally drives in slow circles for 8 hours. I kid you not. He downloads apologetics talks and world view podcasts to his iPod so he can stay awake, especially if he happened to have worked 16 hours the previous day.
So imagine his consternation at seeing this life line to the waking world made useless. In despair and desperation, he went to the store to look for a cheap replacement. He came home with an iTouch. In case you are confused: yes, he was looking for a cheap replacement, and yes, he bought an iTouch. No, the two don’t exactly gel.
Here comes the good news that kind of burns as it goes down: that iPod? The one ruined to the state of an expensive sleek paperweight? It dried out and is all better!!! What? What? Well, that is good news…? I mean, it is a nice testimony to the durability of the thing, right? I’m sorry, I forgot where I was. I can’t seem to keep my eyes from sliding over to that not so cheap replacement of a perfectly functioning iPod.
So now, more than ever, I have just got to make that thing make itself worth while. When it was just a moment of weakness bought to replace an MP3 player, it was a little annoying. But now it is this extra, not-cheap, piece of equipment that can be a whole lot more than an MP3 player.
To make this thing earn its room an board—don’t mock the crazy lady—I have done the research and downloaded pages of education applications. I even have a couple that can hook me up with free audio and regular books. Pretty cool tool for a homeschooling family!
But then, out of nowhere, this old lady bursts from my mouth—I think my voice actually becomes raspy. “What happened to old fashioned social graces?” “Why do you always have to have your face in a screen?” “Would it kill you to spend 30 minutes totally unconnected from technology?” “Look at me when I talk to you!” *gasp* Where did that southern accent come from??
Such a delicate balance it is. All the technology makes life easier—until it doesn’t. When the people in my family have a deeper connection with something that plugs in than with something that breathes, we have a problem. They are new, shiny and entertaining. But we must remember they are tools; they work for us, not the other way around. When we start feeling that compulsion, ‘I have to check this one more time,’ it is time to achieve some freedom and get the tables turned back ‘round.
But as long as we can exercise some self-control, and grip our priorities of living things first, I guess we can have some fun plugging in for short bursts. I grabbed some cool science, math and writing games, access to various museums and reference tools for when we are out and about. We’ll see how we fare!