Is Texting Harmful?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately.  I’ve observed kids (and adults) that are SO attached to their devices that they kind of lose site of the reality around them.  I know I’ve experience this with my iPad.  Is that a bad thing?  The person IS interacting with someone (or something), just through a different medium.  But that’s different than eye-to-eye interaction.  It’s hard to build intimacy through a text message isn’t it?  Plus isn’t it rude to be with someone else and dividing your attention between them and your offline conversation?  I’ve been at family gatherings where the kids are so busy texting that they aren’t interacting with each other.  That’s sad from the way I remember being raised and having so much fun with my cousins, etc.  I try to never respond to my phone during dinner, a movie, or time with family.

For me text messaging is great because it allows me and my girlfriend to interact throughout the day without interfering with each others schedules.  She can text me back when she’s not busy with a student and if I’m busy in a “train of thought” at work I can ignore the text for a little bit and respond later.  It’s not a distraction for us because we limit the interruptions to maybe a dozen or so a day.   But what happens to your brain when you are constantly texting and feel the need to immediately respond?  Is your brain rewired to always respond to the stimuli and you feel the impulse to do something about it?  How does this affect your real-world interactions?  Plus… what about all the time lost?  I know that after I’ve spent too much (unproductive) time on the computer or my iPad (playing “We Rule”) I feel kind of depressed.  Like… wow… I just wasted all that time and I could have been hiking, playing guitar, or working in the yard.

Then again, some may question if it’s a waste of time.  Is FaceBook a waste of time?  Isn’t it a good tool for interacting with someone?  Or is it just NOISE that we otherwise wouldn’t be “wrapped up” in?  I know I’ve spent many hours typing responses to messages that ultimately I really don’t care about and I probably wouldn’t have interacted with this person anyway.  In fact I recently “pruned” my FaceBook list to prevent just this kind of wasted time.

So… give me your thoughts.  I want to hear from those of us that grew up in the generation where we played outside and some dirt and a stick was sufficient entertainment to those who need constant entertainment and stimuli.  Of course, I don’t want you wasting too much time.  So make it quick! :)

Carrot Socks

The other day while eating dinner I was mentioning that I really didn’t like raw carrots (I do love steamed carrots). It brought back a childhood memory. My parents struggled and struggled to get me to eat healthy (or eat at all). I would spend many late nights at the kitchen table until I finished my food. One particular trick I learned was that carrot sticks fit very nicely down a pair of tube socks. I’d casually lift my leg to itch an imaginary scratch and in the carrot stick would go. Then when my Mom saw that I had finished dinner, I’d run outside to play, and there chuck my carrot sticks into the wild where some lucky rabbit would enjoy my leftovers.

Do you have a crazy food disposal story?  If so, leave a comment…

Sticker Factory

Growing up in El Monte, California we lived a mile or so away from an industrial park.  In the park there was a sticker factory.  Back in the 70s it seemed like a pretty big craze.  Those clear decals you wetted down and stuck to EVERYTHING (just ask my mother about the chest-of-drawers that got coated with them).  There were the “Keep on truckin’…” with the guy with one big foot way out in front.  And the peace signs and flowers, etc. etc.

In the front office of the manufacturing plant you could go in and by the stickers.  But the best part was after hours.  That’s when we jumped in the trash bin out back and brought home rolls of left over sticker material.  It seems like there was a paper factory there too that we would bring home all sizes and shape of paper tablets.

I have fond memories of riding my bike around town and feeling empowered by being able to get around town without relying on my parents.

Wall Walkin’

One of the reasons I moved my personal stuff to this blog instead of my techy one, was so that I could start a new segment called “Childhood Memories”.  Each week I will attempt to dig into the foggiest corners of my brain and try to recall a childhood memory.  I find as I’m walking I see certain things that trigger a memory in my head, and I want to get them recorded.

One of my fondest childhood memories is that of “Wall Walking”.  When we first moved to Utah we had a cement block wall that traversed down the back of everyone’s property all the way down the street.  Me and my younger brother use to hop up on the wall and travel down the street, exploring… hmmm… today it might be considered peeping, but we were just kids, what did we know.  Anyway we’d traverse the wall and travel back (none of us ever fell off that I remember, but I’m sure we must have).  I think we felt independent… like we had discovered new territory and could do something the adults couldn’t do.

Anyway… I will be posting more… some things fresh on my mind: spelunking under my cousin’s house, building a spaceship, the sticker factory, big wheels a-go-go, Disco Doug and Rock N’ Roll Brad (or was it the other way around?), sticking carrots in socks, climbing around in the deerfield sewer holes, wow… and so much more.  Stay tuned!