Convenience: Brain Power Limitations, Social Anxiety, and Laziness
Sometimes my thoughts get away from me...yesterday was no exception. Most times when Arin and I are heading out to do almost anything we have our stop at our local Starbucks. Yesterday, being that we were heading out later in the day for a photoshoot, Arin wanted to get a Boba Smoothie. Since the directions to the shoot location were already in the GPS, she decided to find a boba spot on the route. We often use this feature so that we are not deviating too far off of the route. As I start to drive to the boba spot, I begin to think, "What did we do before we had the convenience of GPS?".
I'm an 80s baby, raised by the 90s, but fluid enough to adapt to the changes that occur around me without losing sense of who I am. I remember a time when we took road trips across the US guided by nothing but a large map that folded to brochure size. Every summer we loaded up the Toyota Camry and started our trip. There were times when my dad got loss, but of course in the stereotypical male fashion refused to stop for help. He often said we were "taking a shortcut". Although my dad had a keen sense of direction, we still had the few occasions when he gave in and stopped at a gas station to get help!
For me, I use the GPS on long road trips, going to a place for the first time, or if I want to know how long it will take me to get somewhere with current traffic. I think for me I have an internal GPS. Growing up in a time before cell phones were less of a necessity and more of a luxury, it was necessary to use our brain power to get from point A to point B. Now,' there's an app for that! Not only is there app, there a lot of them!
We are living in an age of convenience, slowly our "Old-Fashion" ways of doing things are being obsolete and being replaced with apps. While it is great to have the ability to utilize such apps, it is my personal opinion that we as a society are becoming hyper-reliant on them. Ok for starters, I love the ability to have groceries delivered in a pinch, but I also love going to a grocery store. I love having the ability to order food and have it delivered from almost any restaurant, even ones that don't offer delivery, but I also enjoy going out.
Let me preface this by saying that my background is in the information technology sector, so I do not by any stretch of the imagination hate technology. It's quite the opposite, but sometimes too much of anything can be bad for you. The trend I'm noticing now is that generation that has been born during this new age of AI (artificial intelligence) integration into our daily lives are heavily reliant on the technology aspect of life. I've observed more children that are able to operate an iPad/tablet before they are even able to tie their shoe! Now don't get me wrong, I have a 2 year old that loves her iPad! She has learned a lot from the shows that we have allowed her to be exposed to, but we also do not allow her to spend her life engulfed into it. We have a 6 year old that wants to be a Youtuber/TikTok star, yet we don't allow to spend her life engulfed learning how to do it. Our 9 year old thinks that he is the king of all gamers, but even he doesn't want to spend his whole life playing on his xbox or iPad. To be honest, he hasn't touched his Xbox in months. We take outdoors seriously, we believe it is important to give electronics a break. We turned our upstairs living area into a play area with a slide, small ball pit, small trampoline, foam blocks, and Montessori toys. They do not have televisions in their room, and iPads/tablets are not used at bedtime...well with the exception of occasionally playing lullabies. Now I paint a nice picture, but it hasn't always been this way. We didn't always have these practices in place, and we have the occasional lazy day where are all on electronics from the time we wake up until bedtime. We are human, and sorry to tell you, but we are no where close to perfect! However, all 3 of our kids have skates or blades, bikes, and the girls also have scooters. Our kids love being outdoors, we spend time swimming, going on hikes, and just hanging out outside of our house. I love seeing all of the neighborhood kids playing outside together. Time away from electronic devices less time spent being robbed of their innocence. Our son still loves to give us hugs and kisses, our girls love playing dress up, and most of all they all love spending time with their moms. We encourage spend time traveling, learning about the places we travel, we take road trips, and visit museums, but it is sad to say that this is not the experience shared in every household. There are parents that look to electronics to babysit their children while they spend time trying to make life happens. With the rising cost of childcare, this method of "child care" seems to be the easier, less expensive option for some families.
As we move forward, it is important that we teach our kids the manual way of doing things. Such as counting change, using checks, how to use a debit card in person, learning how to go into a store and shop as opposed to ordering online, how to drive as opposed to allowing a car to drive you, how to pump gas, etc. The conveniences we have in life now are actually handicapping us. What happens if we experience a technical outage? Will you be prepared and be able to survive in a world without the conveniences we have in life?