05 August 2015

Wordful Wednesday//Tech Me to Your Leader

You have no idea how many times I've run across something lately covering the debate between whether or not technology is "good or bad" pertaining to many different aspects. Most of these articles, podcasts, whatever, coming to a rather inconclusive decision on the certain component at hand.

What still intrigues me is the idea that technology is crossing some huge line whenever it comes to our social lives. There are people--mainly the old timey folks, let's just say it--who believe technology is "taking over." There are also the younger generations who feel that technology has led to great advances and is really just a better way of doing most things.
I can understand the frustrations of those people who came up with the inconclusive results just mentioned because there really are great points to be made for both sides.
However, I am going to be pretty biased considering I am a person with a chronic illness and technology--mainly the Internet--is like my sidekick. So yeah, I'm pretty much PRO-TECHNOLOGY, yo.

I have noticed just recently (although it's definitely not a recent habit!) that I'm on my phone dilly-dallying way too much. More than I think is healthy. And I'm sure that's true for the majority of us. It's mainly me checking social networking sites over and over again, too. I'm not even checking them because I'm just so extra popular and have just so overwhelmingly many notifications to check--nope. It's just a nonsensical habit. So I'm definitely trying to put my phone out of reach more frequently so I can bump that habit. BUT, it's also kind of important for me to have my phone nearby in case I need my doctor or my mother. If I feel a seizure coming on, I can usually send my mom a blank text and she knows what that means. That's kind of like her bat signal, so she can come help me out. Without my phone, I wouldn't be able to get her attention.

Then you have the days. Those days... Many, many, many--ok, most days--when I just lie or prop up in bed. That's what I do and basically all I can do whether it's from fatigue or pain or recuperation from a seizure or all of the above. So watching TV or reading an e-book or, yep, going online, are what I have to keep me company. You can understand that if you've had a snotty cold or the flu or something else temporary, right? It's the same with a chronic illness.
How comforting is it to be in your own bed with a bowl of Mom's homemade soup curled up in front of Netflix? Well it's also comforting for me to do as little as possible while my body works to restore itself and just...manage. Hence one reason I'm almost always on the Internet. Being online is amazing, too, because you can do anything from listen to a podcast on how corsets are made to watch a funny video of goats fainting to read blogs (yay!). But the Internet can also be a perfect way to waste time. So if I had a responsibility looming over my head, sometimes I just want to go back to my comfort zone and watch those adorable goats fainting or browse Amazon for some shoes I'll never buy. And that's no good, is it? I do crave more responsibilities though, small ones, so maybe if I had more of those...

I will admit I don't have much of a social life. If I did have more of one, I think I'd be more apt to have more motivation to spend time offline and to have more inspiration for the things I want to achieve. However, the Internet is also a great way to find a social life in its own way. I have discovered great sources of support systems online and have made friends who also have Lyme disease or some other chronic illness. A few I have been friends with for years! If not for the Internet, I would not have been able to vent to these friends, to laugh along with these friends, or to meet such strong, compassionate people. And that's extremely special.

Because I also have an anxiety disorder, the miracles of the Internet are becoming more and more helpful and awesome to me! Going into a crowded area is a challenge for me. Sometimes even talking on the phone is a big deal. But wait--there's e-mail, that's something I can get away with quite often. We can have live chats or IM or even if I'm feeling it, Skype! And now...wait for it...online food delivery! I can't even list all the other cool things you can do on your phone now. But seriously, anything that boosts my social interactions while not spiking my anxiety through the roof, works for me!

There seems to be a common saying now (from guess who?) about how all the young ones seem to have their noses stuck in their phones or their faces behind a screen or something like that. But if they had the same technology at their age, how would you think they'd be reacting to technology then? Probably embracing it like we are today. I just cannot stand it when people are constantly talking about "the good ole days before technology" yet they are watching TV, while they're on their phone, while their partner is on an e-reader. GET IT?

I love camping and getting away from (most) technology for a while. Because I'm on the Internet almost every single day, it's nice to try to enjoy life without my daily source of news, entertainment, socialization, etc. for a week or so. At the same time, I enjoy my technology and know I couldn't give it up completely.

This doesn't make me lazy, this doesn't make me addicted to the Internet, and this doesn't mean that I'm completely sheltered indoors and that if I go outside I will immediately burn down into ashes and die (I camp, remember?!)
But it does mean I'm sick and limited with what I can do right now. Especially at the moment as I'm seeing some symptoms increase more and more. So that may mean I'll be seeing more Internet usage...who knows?

*Also, I have nothing against the elderly, I swear!

What are your thoughts? Are you stashing your phone away as we speak (maybe you don't even own one)? Or are you too busy texting to even read this question?

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