Wired Wireless

There's a tether we all have, a connection or desire to be connected. Some people call this connection our soul, others call it our enlightened self, but that is not what I am speaking of. I am speaking of our insatiable desire, no...need to be bound by technology. I for one am in that group. If not for technology, I would not be able to work from home and try to attach my invisible string to millions of readers, writers, authors, bloggers, techies and everyone else in this blogosphere. I would not be able to reach across the world and gain customers for my wedding business. My children were born before the boom of personalized digital technology but have embraced it in a way that is still amazing to me. They are adults now, so they too have memories of non tech days.

But in that same breath, I wonder about the human interaction. I remember being able to remember at least 25 different phone numbers at any given time. I remember only having the option of meeting in person or talking by phone. Looking up and around everywhere, all the time. Meeting in person with nothing but my wits and a pretty smile.

Then came the internet. Whole lives captured on a small amoled screens replayed over trillions of devices, for the good and sometimes for the bad. Our likes, dislikes, and habits, meticulously calculated and chronicled. The lack of filter, and apparent non distinction of right and wrong, someone's ugly awful truth revealed for the masses to judge. You can be digitally fucked if not careful. Symbols have replaced out emotions :( and three letter abreviations WTH? Yet we are encouraged to talk about stuff.

Parenting in the digital age has got to be a challenge with unforseen ramifications. The digital footprint we all have has got to be huge. Used well, everyone is fine, used maliciously could destroy and does destroy lives. The division of thought and character...or lack there of. The introvert now given a voice from behind a keyboard. The bully now turned exhibitionist. The lost art of fruitful conversation and the 140 character sound bite. Cybercrime, cyber bullying, cyberstalking, cybershopping. The world's become a festering gaping hole of instant gratification with an insatiable appetite for more... faster... right now. Oh yes, myself included.

I am now perfectly content to stay home. I can work from home. I can exercise at home (falls out of chair laughing hysterically) well I could if I wanted to. I can shop from home. I don't do clubs. does Dance central count? Movies are available through apps and online streaming. Banking is done from home. Food shopping can be done from home and there are lots of pick up services for everything else. Even medical advice is going to at home video doctor and  nursing culture. I can register for doctor visits online. Even go to court from home in some instances.

The whole sphere of dating changed. In that, I am thankful or I would have never met my husband. Access to porn is now something everyone, and I mean everyone, can enjoy in the privacy of their own home or in the bathroom at work. Businesses could become a worldwide entity over night because there are no borders online. An online education is just as valuable as offline. Blogging, gaming, making videos,  reviewing products and unboxing...yes taking the product out of a box and talking about it, all have become actual careers that pay real bills. Anyone can become an entrepreneur. The whole world of music has changed so that you don't even need a label to be famous or rich...I'd rather be rich.  Brick and Mortar businesses occupy a tangible real world space and also the infinite web space. Loose your real world space, no big deal, reinvent yourself online...A lot of times its cheaper anyways.

Libraries are now in a 6, 8 or 10 inch space we carry around. No more late fees, unreturned books or lost library cards. We have given up some of our privacy, anonymity...dare I say... all of our privacy... but who cares right? We use less brain cells now because our devices have all of the info we need at the push or verbal request of a search. Thank you Samsung, Android and Apple.

There is a balance in everything, for in as many things we can naysay about this wired wireless world, we can point out just as many good things. So what is the solution? Should we go dark a few hours a week? Go off the grid permanently? Sign off all tech by midnight, only use it Monday through Friday? Hell..No! I do some of my best blogging in the middle of the night after I have been down with a migraine all day.

Everything has changed. We had to give up DirectTV due to my loss of income and now the little tv I watch is accessible by digital apps. It's not bad, just different. Using an antenna still sucks. I can chrome cast and other techie stuff that I never dreamed I would be able to do. I even figure out and write a little code for my sites. All thanks to the technological advances that have happened at the speed of light over the last 10- 12 years. I don't have to subscribe to a newspaper that I didn't always read just to get coupons anymore. Coupon apps are all the rage. See? good stuff. I also can't put comments on my websites because it gets filled with spam. See? bad stuff. Balance. To the digital world we live in and love. The issue we love to hate. This wired wireless connection.

Random thought
I wonder if there is a spike in the chiropractors business with everyone's head bent down. What about in carpel tunnel or vision problems in this digital era? This has been a jelly bean induced rambling.
Don't text and drive. All Lives matter. It can wait.

While making connections on Twitter I came across these books by authors that all have an interesting take on the subject. Check them out and see what you think.

How will relationships change in the age of the internet?
Victor likes to admire his girlfriends' online pictures. These girls can't seem to stop posting self shots to Facebook and all the social sites. Soon all the young men in his fraternity are competing for the attention of these online, amateur pinups.

The classic problems of maturity are complicated for Victor by a set of new challenges. He struggles with smartphones, text-games, recreational pharmaceuticals, porn addiction, reversed gender roles and a motley crew of well-meaning yet misguided mentors.

The technological quandaries get even more confusing in the maelstrom of booze, drugs and social competition. He gets in fights, pops pills and embarks on a quest to learn why young women post so many pictures and why guys can't stop themselves from looking?

He might just find a girl to fall in love with - on both sides of the camera. Throughout these discoveries, he wonders: What kind of love is this? ... the wired kind.

Claims that technology brings families closer together seem out of sync with kids who retreat to their mobile devices for hours at a time. Assurances of amazing technology learning opportunities are contradicted by kids’ obsessive use of entertainment technologies—video games, social networks, and texting—that drag down their school performance.

In Wired Child, child and adolescent psychologist Dr. Richard Freed explodes one dangerous technology myth after another. He shows you in this provocative and groundbreaking book how a generation of kids has been seduced to spend endless hours with digital self-amusements that damage family bonding and education, and put kids at risk of addiction. Interweaving real-life stories and the latest science, he gives parents common-sense tools to build the strong families children and teens need, promote their success in school, limit their risk of tech addiction, and encourage their productive use of technology.

We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?

Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional views—brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of “the global now.” Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ.

Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who’ve never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity.

But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political “clicktivism” foments positive change.

In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.

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