a hippie's guide to technology part 1

When I was a kid, everyone had a microwave.  I would go over to friend's houses and they would stick a snack in, push some buttons, and we would have something warm in seconds.  Not at my house.  My step-dad was not into up and coming technology.  He saw no purpose in microwaves and so we didn't have one.  Until finally my mom convinced him.  I was in high school when we bought our first microwave and though I was excited to have the same convenience that all of my friends had for years, I felt my first technological jab.  I found myself thinking, this thing is so unnecessary, why did we have to give in?

Next came DVD players.  My step-dad didn't want one and my parents didn't buy one until after I had moved out.  Everyone else was getting them but they never bought one when I was at home and I got married with this sort of smug superiority, we were not giving in.  We would use a VCR.  This was the cause of our first marital strife.  We went shopping and he wanted a DVD player and I would have none of it.  We left the store that day with a VCR.  The employees tried to convince us otherwise; they were weeding VHS tapes out, why would we spend the money on something that would be useless in a couple of years?  My husband tried to reason with me.  But no, I was stubborn and he loved me and we bought a VCR.  (He bought a DVD player a year later with quite a bit of complaining by me).

My husband began calling me technologically stubborn.  No, I wouldn't get a cell phone.  No, we would not get Ian an iPod for Christmas.  No, we didn't need a tv.  We went through periods where we didn't watch tv at all, to storing the tv in a closet and only bringing it out for a family movie.  We had a Wii, but with no tv readily accessible, it was never played.  In my mind, modern technologies were a downfall, serving to draw people further away from God, nature and each other.  I was determined that my family would be different.  We would be free from the evils and temptations of technology.  We would all follow in my own hippie footsteps, bird watching instead of tv watching and playing with ropes and trees instead of video games.

And it was working.  Mostly.  Except that Ian really wanted that iPod and my husband saw no reason to keep it from him.  It caused a lot of turmoil and eventually I gave in.  Because it wasn't worth it.  It was just one iPod anyway, that didn't mean we were becoming a technological family.  But the rest of the kids... I had convinced them well enough that television was bad and they never asked to watch it.  They never asked to play video games.  We all read and spent hours outside and knit and everything was just how I wanted it to be.

And then the cell phone that my husband insisted I had broke.  We went to get a new one and my husband found out he was up for an upgrade.  And then he gave me the news that momentarily broke my heart... he was going to get an iPhone.  And he told me straight up that he wouldn't hear any arguments against it.

*part 2 is here*

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