Giving Thanks: Technology (Day #10)
Are you a lover of technology? Or a hater? Do you feel lost without your smartphone? Or do you prefer to be disconnected? Must you always listen to music on your MP3 player and watch movies from your laptop? Or are you able to set aside your gadgets and gizmos and be unavailable to the world while sitting in a movie theater or attending a concert in a large stadium?
Like it or not, technology has taken over our world, and I have to tell you that I am both thankful for it…and I kind of hate it.
There are many pros, and just as many cons, for each newfangled, next generation item being sold in stores. I’m not going to tell you I love every aspect of our advances in computer programs, cellphones, and social networking. In fact, the loss of privacy and security as an individual let alone as a country burdens me, the entitlement problem and the loss of personalization in our youth is a big concern, and the way that technology is being used to hurt, scar and abuse our children sickens me even more.
Personally, I don’t always want to be connected to the world around me. Call me skeptical, but I just don’t always want the noise, the negativity, or the interruption that technology can bring to my daily plans, especially as an introverted personality. And, yet, I know that there are so many ways that technology can be a blessing.
For just a taste of this, here are the three main positives in my current plus column that allow me to give thanks for technology today.
The first one is GPS. It seems silly, but y’all, I am directionally challenged. I mean I can get lost in my own town without careful planning and the consultation of the map program on my smartphone. It happened just this past weekend. I was suppose to go to an event that we were participating in as a company, and when I arrived in the city of my destination, I realized I was completely lost. The amount of time I have lost on roads and highways is beyond humorous, so while I still need to call my husband to help me find my way, I am truly thankful for the GPS programs that innovative technology has given him…and me.
The second, but probably the most important, reason for my gratitude is the way that smartphones, computers, social media, and apps have allowed me to reconnect with family and friends I don’t see on a daily basis. I have family members and close friends living in Nebraska, New York, California, Idaho, North Carolina, Illinois, and Kansas that I am able to converse with, celebrate with, and see face to face thanks to Skype, Facebook, and email as well as the generalized use of a smartphone and an iPad. When I think about the fact that I could instead be writing letters and waiting for a reply back, or only getting to see them once a year or even less, I truly am thankful for the creativity and intelligence that combined automation, telecommunication, and high tech machinery into our lives.
The last reason I am giving thanks for technology today is how it has simplified our ability to do work from home. I know it’s not for everyone, but I LOVE being able to work from a home office. I worked for 15 years as a teacher, and I enjoyed having a room, a place I belonged each day. However, after having my child, I realized how very much I wanted to be more family-focused. It didn’t change my ambition or desire to be involved in a career that could change lives at all, but becoming a new mom helped me realize that, especially when my daughter was still a baby, my personal place to belong was at home. Now that God has given me a new season and a new business, having the ability to wake up each morning, take care of my family, do a few chores, and still be able to network with vendors, connect with authors, delegate to a virtual assistant, research a myriad of necessary topics is a lifesaver and a blessing.
Technology has changed the publishing industry drastically, which can be read about in a variety articles by even more knowledgeable folks than me on the topic. Yet, instead of focusing on the negatives of those changes, I like to focus on the many ways technology has opened doors, like eBooks, online magazine subscriptions, author websites, and more. Sure, there are drawbacks, and yes, some of the changes have caused issues with pirating and plagiarizing, but overall there are so many more opportunities now than ever before for readers, authors, editors, and publishing companies, and I appreciate how the tech gadgets and components have enhanced our company.
So, from cameras to coffee makers, from social media to GPS, to all the makers of all the things technology-related, I say to you today…Thank You.