Thursday, September 10, 2009

Techno Times

Yesterday I had lunch with two wonderful people that share the same passion that I have for helping children in need. We had a wonderful time, and talked for hours. The interesting part of this is that our lunch date was set up on Twitter. We would never have connected if it wasn’t for that particular social media tool, and now thanks to Twitter, I feel like I have two more friends that I hope to get to know better.

Last night I was thinking about how cool it is that people can now meet and connect online, but then I remembered a conversation I had overhead one day when getting my hair cut. The mom in the chair next to me was saying that she thought it was horrible that kids today text all day long. She was threatening to take her son’s cell phone away because she said he preferred texting to talking. And then she said, “that’s why our world is going downhill in a hurry.”

As a mom to teens, I certainly understood her frustration. I remember wondering that day, however, what technology and life will look like for my kids in even twenty years, since twenty years ago I didn’t even own a computer, and now so much of my life revolves around it. I wondered how many parents said the same thing about their teens being on the computer 20 years ago as they do about texting now. Are our kids simply adapting more quickly to a world that is getting more and more technologically advanced? Are they communicating in a way that is becoming more and more the norm…in short bits of information that are transmitted instantly across the globe?

How do you feel about social media? Are you embracing it in every way, shape, and form, or does it make you uncomfortable? I think my biggest question is how one keeps up with all the different types now available. I love Facebook as a way to keep in touch with my friends, but we now also Twitter for LWB, and I’ve been told that Linked In is the place to be. Are you even familiar with all the social media buttons posted above? Between emails and blogging and Facebooking and Twittering….. how does one keep up? Entire days can easily be spent communicating online. But it is still amazing to me to think that through the internet, we are able to unite people around the world with the common goal of helping children. So while I don’t doubt for a minute that the vast majority of my friends were made in cyberspace, when we do meet in person there is this wonderful, instant connection of feeling like, “yes….we are in this together to help those in need.”

How much of your life is now based on cyberspace? Are you concerned about how much your children utilize it? My kids have already joked with me that when I pass away, if they want anyone at the funeral… it probably needs to be held online.



  1. It is like anything else, you must pick and choose, then use what best fits your life in moderation. I work in the information services business, but have resisted the blackberry craze. I am connected enough. I spend 5 hours of my working day on the computer, even taking it to meetings with me, then another hour or 2 at home.

    That makes it tough to teach tech-moderation to my kids. Just like with TV, I do monitor computer usage with my little ones. We need to teach making good social media choices, just like we teach picking good real life friends. I have a cell phone for emergencies and short communications only, yet I can see a day where texting might keep me in better communication with my daughters.

    The upside of social media is that you can have true friends who share your values and your interests even if they are miles or countries away. When our adoption journey started 9 years ago, I was on a forum with other adoptive moms...I called them my imaginary friends. Yet all these years later, we are still friends, sharing adoptions, births, parenting and other life issues. I've even met a few of them IRL (in real life!)

    And of course there is great work being done via social media for LWB :)

  2. So true, Amy. Were it not for the internet:
    1) I would not have known about adoption from China and so...
    2) I would not have my children.
    3) I would not have met my husband.
    4) I would not have met my closest friends, who I met through the Chinese adoption community.
    5) I would not have my own business.

    It's amazing all the gifts that technology has brought into my life. Facebook is my latest obsession, and I've been having a blast reconnecting with friends from the past who I would never have been able to have re-connected with if not for the internet.

    My mom (age 67) just signed up on Facebook due to "pressures" from some of her kids. "I just joined so I could keep up with what your kids are doing and see their pictures." Yeah, right. Mom joined last week and already has around 20 friends. We'll see...

    Most of my kids are too young yet to use the internet the way I do for social interaction, but when my 7 year old in NY asks to web-chat with my best friend's 7 year old in CA, I know it's not long before I'll be dealing with a lot of techno-connecting. It's just a matter of time.