“Hello. My name is Amanda and I am a luddite”.

It’s not easy to admit when there is such focus on mobile technology and communicating via social networking rather than using email (so passé) or worse still, the old-fashioned telephone.

Today children take ipods and ipads on play dates. Children who can barely walk or talk use them as toys. And you can’t walk down the street without dodging people, heads down, focussing on their phones instead of where they are going.

In recent months, I have seen ipads by the pool (who’s to blame if they get water-damaged?), I’ve seen toddlers and teenagers using them during concert performances and worst of all, on a daily basis, I see people using them while driving.

There is no doubt that technology has made our lives so much easier. But how far is too far and what impact is it having on how we interact with family, friends and work colleagues?

At home: I recently enjoyed a Sunday afternoon with some colleagues, all of us working mums. My 10-year-old son did not want to go. He would be the oldest, he would be bored, etc, etc.

While us mums enjoyed the old fashioned (and hopefully never to go out of style) bubbles and nibbles on the porch, the kids, aged from 2 – 10, slowly started playing together.

The boys discovered the sprinkler and water wars began. This was followed by Paddle Pops. Then all went quiet. Turns out there was a big game of hide and seek going on.

This went on for two hours. Not a gadget was produced. It was good old fashioned fun – and it was fantastic. Even Mr 10 admitted he’d had a wonderful time.

At work: Although I am not old, I am starting to feel it in my workplace. I work in communications. The buzz is all around social media-based campaigns.

I understand social media has a time and a place (I have a personal facebook page, as well as facebook and twitter accounts and a blog aligned to my website), but is it the ‘be all and end all’ it is touted?

Do people really want to play a game on their mobile that is related to their job? Do facebook or twitter campaigns engage the right people any more successfully than traditional forms of communicating – or is it just more people?

On holiday: I am due to go on a holiday soon. We are going to New Zealand and I want to live in every moment. I don’t want to ignore my husband and children while I post photos and details about the trip as it happens. I think that can wait until we get back – but do people want to follow our journey while we are on it? Or is that just what we want to think?

These are all issues I am grappling with – as a mum, as an employee, as a website creater/blogger.

As a mum, my sanity is being questioned by my children (age 7 & 10) because they are the ONLY ones amongst their friends who do not have their own ipod touch (that’s what they tell me and although it is an exaggeration, it seems there are more who have them than not).

As a an employee, my sanity is being eroded as I keep my views to myself for fear of being branded a luddite who just doesn’t get it cause she’s too old and past it.

But as a traveller, I say, “I don’t care.”

While it is tempting to throw the ipad in the take-on luggage, my concession to new technology is my digital camera. I will take photos, I will jot notes in a journal – but I will be in each and every moment as I experience another country and culture with my family, away from the routine and stresses that occupy our everyday lives.

And when my children start drooling and moaning when they see other children buried in phones and tablets and shoot me that look that says” You are such a bad mum”, I will smile knowingly back at them.

“Yes I am – but I know one day you will thank me for it.”


  • This was a really entertaining article!

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  • I have a mobile phone but I don’t use it while out unless I am trying to locate somebody to find out about something I want advice on something I am debating whether to buy it or not. I have relatives that work shift work that I text if I need to rather than ring and disturb the person who is asleep. It takes more than a couple to beeps to distrub any of them. I also have a relative I sometimes text to make sure she is Ok. If she is home then I will ring her, either on my landline or mbile phone. Mine is basic one. I only use it for calls and texts. I will also use it in emergency.

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  • I feel this way too Amanda. I THINK MOBILE PHONES oops sorry I mean I PHONES COULD RUIN SOCIETY in some ways. It is making people anti social in some ways.

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  • I love thus story. Reminds me of when I was a kid and we visited the neighbours. We played for hours using our imagination and whatever was laying around. Childhood was the best time for me, so much fun and carefree

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  • I’m very limited when it comes to technology and new fads.

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  • That’s brilliant to read. Kids having fun the old fashioned way, not a technological gadget in sight. Awesome

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  • Its very good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this article!

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  • yes everything has a time and a place.

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  • While I do own an iPad, I use it very little and usually only when I’m on my own whereas my sister will use it all the time, even when visiting my family. It makes me so mad.

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  • I often marvel how some people can be on holidays and post almost every movement they make, I wonder how their travelling companion feels…. or are they doing the same thing?


    • I know; I was in a resort pool; the only one swimming as everyone else was on devices! I was so shocked! :(

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  • Nice reminder ,we all as mums need to take steps by not only stopping our children from too much technology use but also by using it less ourselves so our children can have a good model to follow

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  • I totally agree! Technology consumes so much of our time and kids aren’t learning how to communicate face to face!

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  • Thank you for this interesting article

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  • I found this interesting, take away technology away and kids will always find something to go

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  • I think you might just be in the wrong industry? Tad hypocritical?

    Reply

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