Monday, March 29, 2010

Nature vs. Technology? I don't think so!



This past week was Spring Break. My family spent the week in Florida at Everglades National Park. We spent the week exploring, hiking, birdwatching, counting alligators, boating, and basically just enjoying nature.

As someone who spends a good deal of time talking about the power and benefits of technology, I thought I ought to talk a bit about how important I think BALANCE is. For all the time we spend on our computers, cellphones, televisions, ipods, etc..., my family spends a lot of time enjoying nature and the outdoors.

I often hear people talk about technology as a bad thing because it is making kids obese, antisocial, or noninteractive. I disagree with all of those assertions. As a family of technophiles, we enjoy playing sports, exercising, hiking, getting out in nature, camping, etc... One does not automatically eliminate the other.

On the contrary, just as it takes a commitment of time and energy to ensure that we enjoy the outdoors, it also takes a commitment of time and energy to ensure that our kids have a safe and positive experience with technology. Avoiding technology does not mean our kids will have a positive experience with nature. Neither does using technology mean they will have a negative or lack of experience with nature.

The point is both require a concerted effort, as do all things in life: healthy relationships, healthy bodies, healthy finances... Why does technology need to be the scapegoat for the fact that we often don't make these other things a priority. I believe we can and must make time for all these things. In fact, I believe they are interconnected. Technology can help build a love for nature. My children love to research places and animals online. They love to watch video of rare animals they have never seen. We use technology to plan our trips to beautiful natural locations.

I hope our children continue to have a healthy balance in their lives between getting outside and enjoying nature, enjoying healthy relationships with family and friends, and enjoying healthy and safe online habits that encourage social interaction, online learning, and fun!

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