Wednesday, 30 May 2007


I thought I'd depart a little from my usual family going-ons and write a little bit about something that's been on my mind lately.

When I entered university, I remember distinctly how I felt on becoming a number. All of a sudden I was given a 9 digit number by which I would be referred for the next four years. I needed it to check my grades, use the library, find my records, log onto the internet. It was the way I was referred to on class lists. I was so disturbed by my new anonymity brought on by technology that I even penned my feelings into a poem titled "In The Age of This World". It was a typical jaded university student's response to social surroundings, but as I reread it today, the truth of it still rings true. The gist of the poem is summed up in these lines:

With all these time-saving devices
I wonder just what is
The disastrous crisis
That keeps us so busy that we can't afford
To do things ourselves
In the age of this world.


Fast forward eight years and you come to a book I read not too long ago, called "Better Off". This fantastic account of an MIT grad who lives for a year in an Amish village totally inspired me. His thesis question was: just how much technology do we need to make life easier? How much time are we actually saving by using all these "time-saving devices"? His thought was to strip it all away and just see what he and his new wife could and couldn't do without. The conclusions were astounding. I won't go into detail, but all of you need to read this book. I know I have a completely different outlook on things now.


I know there are some fantastic conveniences that have been invented thanks to advancements in technology. You certainly won't find our house completely unplugged. But I now have some food for thought, and some interesting ideas to implement (once I'm able to get up and move around a little more!) Many of my concerns stem from the fact that I'm raising a son. I know that video games have become limb extensions, and that's definitely something I am going to avoid at all costs. (Side note: I heard an interesting quote I'm storing away for when Colin is a teenager: "Show me a guy glued to a video game and I'll show you a guy who's girlfriend I can steal in one week.") So check back in a little bit, and I'll keep you up to date on how we decide to 'flip the switch on technology'.

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