I had a rather interesting question come up recently. I was asked in an email how I can consider our lifestyle to be one of simplicity when we have Internet at home, along with cell phones.
When compared to most families in our country, we DO live a much more simplistic lifestyle. No, we do not go as far with it as the Old Order Amish, for example. We do take on some of the attitude.
Among the Amish, any technology used has to pass a test. Does it truly benefit the family/community without interfering in their family/community relationships? Is it something that is necessary or is it simply a personal want?
We look at many of our technology decisions in a similar way. We homeschool our children and need the Internet resources to aid us in providing them a good education. Without Internet at home, I have to travel a minimum of 10 miles from home to access the WiFi at the library in town. While 10 miles doesn’t seem that much, the fuel cost does add up. We also use the Internet to stay in touch with family and friends that lives out of state. Having Internet at home does simplify our life in a big way. I can get online at night or when the children are playing and my household tasks are completed. I don’t have to pack the kids up into the jeep to drive them to town.
Having a cell phone is a blessing. Living where we do, if you have a vehicle breakdown, the cell phone can make a big difference. It also allows Joe to be able to contact me from the road no matter where I am. It does not take anything away from our family relationships. In contrast, it actually helps when Joe is gone. We can stay in touch far easier.
The key issue for me is that the technology not be allowed to rule over us. Don’t let the technology become so important that your relationships take a back seat to technology.
Take a realistic view of whatever technology you are wanting to purchase. Is it necessary? If you took the time to save up the money to obtain that computer, or other technology-related item, would you still have long-term use for that item when you finally have saved enough to buy it?
Technology isn’t the issue. It is what you do with it and whether or not you allow it to rearrange your priorities in an unhealthful way.