Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Techno Brain Drain

Study about constantly checking smart phones and other such distractors may be bad for our brains.

Food for thought.

About me: I do not live the "crackberry" lifestyle. I got my first smart phone 12 months ago but don't use it like "crackberry addicts" use theirs. Honestly I only got it due to my son's travel lacrosse team who would cancel a game while I was already out doing something else and was going to travel directly there. Now I check that email before I head to it

When waiting someplace, I bring a book, a regular old paper book, or a paper magazine. Only occasionally do I sit and read email on my phone because honestly, it's hard to reply when I need to do that. I also hate wasting time by double-reading and double-deleting. It's easier to read email at home and delete it then. Or I knit.

I don't use a digital book reader device because I own too many paper books that I still have not read, not all the books I want to read are available digitally, they are more expensive digitally than when I get them  free or used for cheap, I can't resell digital books or give them away which bothers me, and I'm too cheap to buy a digital book reader. (Whew, how's that for a run-on sentence?) I also hate how just when I buy something technological in nature a new improved and more expensive one comes out that I then want. I say no to digital book readers.

My latest tactic in the last six months is to check email once a day only, only more than once if I'm really bored. I also often go one or two days a week not looking at email at all, so I can be busy doing other things in my life away from the screen. If someone needs me urgently they can phone me. If I am waiting for something urgent I will peek at email quickly and then exit.

For blogging I have been writing ahead of time when I have extra time and when my muse is with me. I set the posts to blog by themselves in the future. In the last month blogger has given me some technical glitches so sometimes those don't publish and I have no post for the day. Oh well.

I have unsubscribed from some discussion lists (email) and I rarely check online bulletin boards. I just don't have time and I often wind up more aggravated than helped from those communications. I also notice some people ask questions and say they want help but then they are closed-minded and don't want to hear the answers. So what is their point? They are wasting people's time, mine included.

I have no text messaging service with my phone because:

1. It costs $30 a month for the family plan and that's too much money in my opinion. We're paying enough for the phone service and the internet access.

2. I don't want to be pestered all the time.

3. I don't want my kids to have it.


My thirteen year old has a bare bones mobile phone that he often forgets to take with him when he really needs it. The battery is usually dead and thus it is unusable most of the time.

My ten year old has no need for a phone and doesn't own one.

When my kids are out and about playing in the neighborhood they are truly not attached to the apron strings which is the same freedom I enjoyed when I was a kid. I don't want them tethered to me by mobiel phone. I want them to be independent and self-sufficient.

As a parent I have concerns that constantly getting text messages distracts kids from doing other worthwhile things. When they are doing schoolwork or homework they should focus on that. When they are at a Scout meeting they should be focusing on the Scout meeting and having face to face discussions. (Despite them being banned at meetings I see kids sneaking them and some sit in the bathroom doing texting.)

I am hearing horror stories of text messaging social messes from both schooled kids and homeschooled kids locally, from good families. I don't need my kids enmeshed with that crap. My husband and I "just say no" to text messaging for our kids.

I think sexting with sex talk and with porn photo images is disgusting for both adults and kids. Actually, when minors circulate nude photos it's illegal. It's called child porn. I don't want my kids mixed up with that garbage.

If my kids want to talk to their friends they may pick up the landline phone and dial it. There is no need to type short sentences into a device. How about just talking orally, the old fashioned way to communicate?

I have priorities for my kids and lots of screen time is not in the mix. Moderation is the key. They have enough screen time with TV and computers and video games on the TV they don't need to stare at micro screens playing more games or reading texts.


As an adult I have some free time and if I choose to spend it on Twitter or Facebook or blogging that's my perogative. What is best for my kids may not be what I do in my life because I've already got my high school diploma and college degree, I put my time in already to earn those formal education degrees. I also spend a considerable amount of time on autodidact pursuits now, not toward another college degree, but just because I want to learn things.

According to the statistics, I read a lot more books than the average adult American. I feel I deserve some time on the computer and TV. I don't feel I necessarily need to apply the same rules to my kids as me. So I can tweet, but my kids can't. I can have a smart phone and use it in moderation, but they don't need a smart phone.

If my kids don't like our rules I'll say what I heard from my parents when I was a kid:

"When you grow up you can do what you want but right now you're a kid and I'm your parent and you'll do as I say."


"When you are grown up and go to work and earn your own money you may spend it any way you want but you'll not tell me how to spend the family's money."

Actually I'm a lot softer than that as a parent, but that's my bottom line if I'm pushed to reveal it.

And now that there's a study about it I have even more of a reason to stick to my guns!


The Cast said...

We have a computer and an old cell phone and thats all. Somehow we have survived. Will see if that stays that way when our kids get older.

Denise said...

Good For YOU! I stumbled upon your blog today and am happy to be your newest follower. I am on the beginning of the homeschooling journey and will be happily perusing through your posts & fav. links:)
Happy Wednesday!