I recently spent a wonderfully relaxing week on a cruise, and one of the most relaxing things about it was being away from technology. I didn't check my email once. I lived without Facebook and Words With Friends. Whole groups of people were dining and sightseeing and hiking, and no one was dragging their finger across a screen. When my companions and I had a question about something, we were reduced to wondering about it and postulating answers, rather than pulling out a smart phone and receiving immediate gratification.
The moratorium on technology was primarily driven by economic forces. The Internet is available on cruise ships, but on our ship access went for 75 cents a minute. When we were ashore, we didn't want to waste our precious time looking for a library or Internet cafe.
Appropriately, most of the National Day of Unplugging (March 1-2) passed while we were still unplugged. But Wayne Parker, Guide to Fatherhood, featured an excellent article about technology addiction, including a list of warning signs. In other technology news, a UK survey revealed that grandchildren are turning to their gadgets for the answers that they used to get from grandparents. They are more likely to Google how to sew on a button than to ask Grandma or Grandpa. That doesn't disturb me too much. Their smart phones can't drive them to the park, bake cookies with them or share a wild game of Four Square.
There will always be a place for grandparents.
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