Embracing Technology

I like tech. I’m not a geek – quite – but I like it. I don’t like how it sometimes intrudes into family time and I hate how over-reliant we can be on it but on the whole I think it is A Good Thing. Yes, there are dangers when your children start using social media, but that, for me, is a by-product of technology (one that requires parental supervision and talks), not the sole reason for it’s existence. I expect this is a generational thing. My teenage son would probably roll his eyes and declare what nonsense this is but technology, in my eyes, is A Good Thing because it enables us to do stuff that we couldn’t do before.

For instance, when my kids were babies I could only video them if I had a video camera. Remember those? Cumbersome things that required charging for ages; involved carrying around lots of leads; needed blank cassettes; and then needed editing before transferring to a CD or tape. What a pain in the arse and no wonder we didn’t bother for long. We have a few “tapes” of T when he was tiny and a Christening Video for A but that’s about it. Now, you lucky lot with very small people are able to video them on your phone. And don’t get me started on photos. When T was tiny we didn’t even have a digital camera. The first photos we have of the day he was born were taken on an Instamatic. We weren’t being “retro”, it was the only camera we had (and that was because of K’s job and he blagged using it for home too). Now, we can take pictures whenever we like and we don’t have to wait to get them developed before we can see what they look like  -“wait, that one’s crap, take it again…” is a commonly heard phrase in many a household, I would imagine. Now, we can not only phone someone from wherever, we can see them. I can see my lovely Miss T and little Miss on a weekly basis, even though we live hundreds of miles away. I can see videos of her doing cute things at the touch of a button on my phone. It’s fabulous.

But, the thing that has sparked this Tech Love-Fest today is music. The very thought of going to something like Glastonbury fills me with abject horror. For starters, remember how I hate dirt? And crowds. And tents. And drunk people. And dancing. That’ll be me not going to festivals EVER then. But I LOVE music. Love, love, love it. And live music is just Utopia. So the fact that I can sit in the comfort of my chair with clean clothes on and watch Glastonbury with not a speck of mud in sight is just brilliant. And technology lets me do it. I can choose who I want to see and I can choose when I want to watch it. I don’t have to subject anyone else to it, I can watch to my hearts content. Just Brilliant. I had no idea what a mixed bag of people you get playing at Glastonbury. It’s kind of passed my by in previous years (and yes, I realise that I could probably have been watching for years online but bear with me) but since I started listening to Radio 2 it is more on my radar and god it’s been brilliant. Madness, Squeeze, Tom O’Dell, Muse, Coldplay, Adelle, Bastille – the list goes on. All Bloody Brilliant. And I can watch it all again, and again, and again. I can pause it so I can go for a wee. I don’t need to wee in a bucket. I love it.

I will moan when my son is checking his smart watch at the dinner table. I will gripe when my husband is looking at Facebook instead of talking to me. I will tut when my daughter is more interested in the latest Instagram video by her favourite vlogger than listening to me read. But technology is so much more than just an annoying interrupter of life. It lets us share moments, it helps us use time more efficiently, it allows us to be in places where we can’t (or don’t wish to) be. It allows us to see and hear things as if we are there. It allows us to capture moments, make memories last.

My biggest tech regret? Not being able to blog when my kids were babies.It would have been a life-saver. To be able to ramble on about worries, experiences, joys, lows and getting a response or even just a star from someone would have made such a difference to me back then. I have tech-envy of all the bloggers starting out on their parenting journeys and of being able to look back in years to come on this Wonderful Diary of Life. Technology, I salute you.

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