Thursday, October 1, 2009

ARGH! Technological Pet Peeves! Poor Manners! Homeschooling?

Let me preface today’s article by saying that if you could see my face and hear the tone of my voice you would know that there is a calm smile plastered on my face as I process my own observations and thoughts conversationally through this article. I would LOVE to hear your feedback and I am always open to hearing the “other side”.

ARGH! Technological Pet Peeves! Poor Manners! Homeschooling?

Has anyone else noticed that we are becoming an increasingly rude society? Nothing drives me crazier than when I go to the grocery store and there are people talking loudly on their cell phones. Don’t get me wrong, I love to chat on mine as well, but I’m talking about those who talk at the top of their lungs about anything and everything. They have no sense of privacy, no respect for anyone else but themselves.

Earlier this year my husband took me to the Cheesecake Factory for our anniversary. In this particular restaurant the tables were very close together and we had to sit and listen to a woman (who was literally right next to me) tell her friend off on her cell phone for almost 10 minutes. She was so loud that tables farther from us were peeking around to see what all the ruckus was about. What surprised us was that once she hung up, she spoke quietly with her friend who had accompanied her. However, for ten full minutes we had to listen to her swear, yell, accuse and share details that I would have been fine to have never known. (When we spoke with the manager she apologized but did nothing to fix it)

It appears texting has gotten way out of control as well. When did we come to a place that we don’t know how to set aside outside interruptions to visit with others face to face without the need to be in contact with others? I understand the “Pro's” of texting. It allows you to make plans, ask questions, gather quick information without needing to pick up your phone. However, if not carefully monitored it can become just as distracting as a long phone call.

On facebook the other day someone sent through very graphic pictures of motor vehicle accidents where the driver was texting while driving?! What?! What about when you're at lunch with your friend and she is texting while your talking? It would be easy to allow the person your with not to feel valued. My last gripe about texting is the atrocious grammar our children are learning as they shorten words to make texting faster and easier.

Reading this I am sure I sound like an old stick in the mud. I should stop and tell you that I LOVE technology. I have to constantly fight not to allow my heart to desire spending time on my computer more than I spend it with my family. We use it for everything..., school, calendar, creative writing, searching, social networking, you name it. I also cannot imagine living without my cell phone and in just 15 days I will be getting my first I-Phone. (I’ve been told my life is about to change)

However, when I was a little girl my dad taught me a valuable lesson. If we were eating dinner, watching a movie, playing a game, and the phone would ring, he wouldn’t allow us to answer. I used to worry that I might be missing a girlfriends important phone call. He would stop and patiently explain that the phone is there for “our” convenience and not the other way around. My siblings and I knew that we were the total focus of their attention.

How do we teach our children manners in this new technology laden society we live in? I think that will probably differ from family to family. However, I am going to share with you some tips we use here in our home:

1- We do not talk on the phone, text or use the computer for personal purposes while a guest is in our home. We make them the focus. (Unless husband or child is calling to check in)

2- We talk quietly on our cell phones while out and about in public, but hang up to checkout. We’ve taught our children to greet the cashiers and ask them how they are doing. (waitresses as well)

3- We never, NEVER text while we drive. Not even at red lights. I do talk on the cell while I drive using my ear piece. (which I know some of my friends disagree with)

4- Whether texting, facebooking or writing an email, we do not abbreviate our words.

Do you have technological pet peeves? Do you have guidelines in your home to manage technology? Won’t you take just a second and share so we can learn from each other?

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