a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Personal Electronics Complicate While Simplifying Our Lives

Back in the day ---- not even too far back ---- times were simpler. Far simpler.  

  • Telephones were attached to a long cord and we had to be home to answer it.
  • Home-delivered newspapers and movie theater news reels brought us the news.
  • Books consisted of paper pages that you turned one at a time.
  • We watched favorite television shows by scheduling our time so we would be at home at their scheduled time.
  • We wrote letters in cursive, or typed them using a typewriter. . . and mailed them.
  • We found our information for school assignments at the local library and in encyclopedias.
  • If we wanted to be "naughty" we  looked up words in Webster's Dictionary or poured over the underwear sections of the Sears Roebuck catalog.

Back in the day we even had to wait for our coffee to perk and our popcorn to pop over high heat on a stove.

We knew what it meant to have to wait for something --- as there was no other option.

We understood patience --- as there was no other option.

Young people today may not even know what patience is!  Our own kids tell us we would know more of what was going on with their families if we would receive text messages or join Facebook. To let you know how unlikely that is: 

A couple of months ago we turned in our almost 12 year-old cell phones for new ones. The employees laughed at our antiques. We wanted the most basic model they still carried. They refer to them as "flip phones" and dug out a couple.  We returned to the store when we discovered we were missing our  user instructions. They laughed again and said they they were not missing, only were no longer included. 

Fortunately we have the patience to wait until one of our grandchildren comes over --- as that is our best option!

Dave was employed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in the early 70s. The Church installed their first computer system shortly after. It took up most of the space in its own large, climate controlled building ---- and didn't have anything near the capabilities of today's I-phone or Smart phone or whatever they are called.

Whatever information required research and time, even 10 years ago, is available today in an instant, right in your pocket. Exciting and often invaluable but . . .

While we know these things are progress, admittedly unbelievable and amazing progress, we also know the dangers they can elicit and the things that are lost along with this progress.

We shudder to think of the challenges parents face in regulating and monitoring (besides keeping up with and paying for) all of today's electronic "necessities."

The following is the introduction to a recent newspaper column  by Tiffany Gee Lewis:

On a recent family road trip, a little bantering began about five minutes down the highway.

“Mom, can I play your iPhone?”

“No, not right now.”

A pause.

“Dad, can I play your iPad?”

“No, not right now.”

“How about your iPhone?”


“In five minutes?”


And so it went. For three hours. While we encouraged our kids to read books, stare out the window and, for goodness sakes, just look for the ocean over the crest of the hill, they pestered us about absolutely needing to update their Minecraft account.

Tiffany continues:  "I’ve heard frustration from countless parents who feel they are on the losing end. They can’t seem to get a handle on when and how to let their kids have access to electronics. As this particular war isn’t going away any time soon, here are six ways to fight the good fight."

Tiffany is the young mother of four sons. She has some great suggestions and encouragement.You can read her entire article

                  iCharge: 6 Ways to Control Family Media 

at  thetiffanywindow.wordpress.com.

My next post will feature some of the  non-electronic road trip games our children played back in their day.

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