Technology And The Outside World: Not Competitors, But Companions
We all know about the warnings people give when it comes to technology and its effects on the youth of today. “Oh, when I was younger, we didn’t have smart phones, these kids aren’t growing up right”. Okay, that’s a bit of an over-simplification of the argument, but the truth is that a lot of people look at the digital age we are living in as a negative thing. It seems to suggest that people aren’t interacting, getting outside or living as much as we used to.
Now, it is possible to see where those people are coming from without agreeing with them. Of course we should still make time to go out, meet with people and experience the world around us. But there is no reason that this needs to be despite technology. Smartphones don’t need to be a bar to our interaction with the outside world. Sometimes they can really enhance it. Sometimes, technology and the world work just fine together.
- Take A Road Trip, Make A Video
There is so much wonderful scenery out in the world that we can look at, move around in and interact with. Wherever you live, take a drive for twenty minutes and you can be somewhere truly beautiful. Take along your phone, or a tablet, but not so you can keep up with your Facebook. Use it to make a video of the amazing sights you see.
Which you can then post to your Facebook, of course.
- Go Birdwatching With A Tablet
I can hear the responses now. “Yes, so once you get bored watching birds, you can watch a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad”. But no – download an app onto the tablet that allows you to identify wild birds. Many apps will tell you what the native wild birds are in your area – but if you get the bug for it, you can drive a bit further out to see something special. On the way home, who’s up for some Breaking Bad? (I’m kidding).
- Learning A Language? Watch TV In That Language!
This is particularly good if you have kids who are in high school and showing a flair for a foreign tongue. Nothing boosts comprehension quite as well as hearing the language spoken by native speakers. Most TV stations worldwide now host some of their content online. It’s usually not live streamed outside that country, due to licensing restrictions. But can you watch last night’s news in French? Oui!
You’ll need a fast connection to get the best from this, and cable internet may not be best for it. Check your area for Frontier Internet availability, or other fiber services. You’ll find something suitable.
- The Internet HELPS You Interact With People
Sure, if people just go online and disappear into their own world, it definitely isn’t healthy. But guess what? Some people are introverted without needing the help of the web to get there. For people who take a while to warm up socially, or are better at articulating themselves at their own pace, online communities are a godsend. They help you build confidence and can let kids spread their wings.
All of the above tips are, of course, subject to the obvious caveat that responsible use is key. For all the good it can do, technology in too-large doses can be a negative thing. Balance is healthy!