So last night, with my husband safely tucked into his red-eye flight to Dallas, and the kids zonked out in their various bedrooms, I had some private time to troll the blogosphere. I checked out my usual J-blogs and then it occurred to me to click on someone who'd left a comment or two recently on mine. This is significant, because most people who DO read this little stealth expression fail to respond (hint, hint).
And I was blog-agog. I knew there was a wider world of bloggers out there, but I'd never ventured into it. I started reading (http://optimistmom.blogspot.com/) the blog of Ruth Anne Adams, and was mesmerized...it was like reading a perceptive, articulate diary. And it hit me that 1) the world will never be the same as before high speed internet, and 2) it's actually GOOD that kids grow up with internet skills; just like other habits that can be deleterious if overdone, they just need to be taught how to manage them properly.
As the coauthor of a book that largely warns parents not to let kids watch TV, I've been in the habit of assuming that children should spend their time away from anything with a screen. While that's still true to a point--I still think TV is harmful, as the content is selected by the provider and not the consumer--I think there ought to be more considered comment not about how MUCH time kids spend on the computer, but exactly HOW they use it.
What this means is that anyone, including me, ought to think about WHY he or she is spending any given moment courting carpal tunnel syndrome. If I were honest, I'd admit that frequently, it's to avoid what I truly SHOULD be doing, like when I spent lots of (enjoyable) time checking out new digital cameras or editing my 28,000 photos. There's nothing wrong with relaxing, or with entertainment. And probably reading camera specs is better for my soul than watching some skanky t.v. offering. Still, it would be helpful to look at what I'm doing honestly, and allot a set amount of surfing time, rather than let it consume my evening and keep me from interacting with the real people in my home. All of whom are glued to their monitors.
Back to Ruth Anne's blog. Here is somebody whose insightful observations let me reflect on my own experiences. We share common interests, and yet our backgrounds are quite divergent. She's actively Catholic; I'm an observant Jew. She lives in a very different part of the country, amidst a different circle of friends...but by reading her blog, I am privileged to get to know them. I even met her mom, who wrote about meeting her recently-deceased dad...my world is expanded as if savoring a delicious novel, but this one is true.
I don't have THAT much time to surf blogs, or, frankly THAT much interest in most of them, but what a luscious little treat I can give myself to peek into some fascinating other worlds now and then. It's not the superficial "all about me" world of Facebook (yuk) but words written from the hearts and lives of people who are consistently fascinating and stimulating. I thank Bill Gates and Paul Allen...Al Gore? Well....