Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
In the clip, which you can watch on Fox news, we hear Phil Vischer talk about how research shows that the part of our brain that processes facts and data can in fact be trained to go faster, BUT the part of our brain that processes emotion and makes emotional connection can’t be trained to go faster. They can collect data faster, but they can’t have a feeling about it. If you are trying to help someone feel compassion for example, you are going to have to slow down.
Even the article that I dogged on in my post yesterday, quotes child psychologist Douglas Gentile saying "Multitasking is not really good for anyone. Your reflexes speed up, you're quicker to look over your shoulder and notice little noises or lights. This is not what they [children or teens] need when they get to the classroom and you're supposed to ignore the kid next to you. Scanning to see when the next message comes, this may not be good for kids. The more distractions you have, the worse your performance is."
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I read "The Help". I found myself enjoying the book, but having a difficult time settling down to read. I felt like I’d be better off with an audio book so that I could fold clothes, or be productive. I think this was a lesson for me that I need to just to relax every once in a while, and stop trying to accomplish 10 things at a time!
In our instant, high tech society we are blessed to have so many advancements to help us do everything quicker or without much effort. My challenge though, is to try doing things the slower way every once in a while and resist the temptation to multitask while doing it. It took 2 ½ hours to watch "The Help" at the theater, but for me there was so much more depth by reading the book which took about 10 times the amount of time.
Similarly I can get delicious lemonade from the drive thru at Chic Fila, but sometimes J and I like to make it from fresh squeezed lemons.
It means I get to use this gorgeous juicer that my sister in law made just for me. I also love the opportunity to get to use this cute little bag that my mom quickly sewed together from scraps of fabric that I had on hand.
She made it for me when I expressed the desire to have something to keep my clothes pins on me while I hang clothes on the line. Most of the time I throw the clothes in the dryer, and believe me I am thankful for a working washer and dryer, but every once in a while I like to get outside and allow our linens a chance to get fresh air and sunlight.The smell of line dried clothing is something I've never been able to duplicate from a bottle.
I don’t do these things all the time and I know they are not the most efficient, but they are just little ways for me to slow down, decompress, and find some space from the constant barrage of messages flying at me the rest of the day. For you maybe it’s something else like writing a hand written letter or journal, walking somewhere, or baking from scratch.
Throughout this series I hope I have stressed enough that I think all of this change and progress with virtual connection is a good thing. I think that there is a such thing as too much screen time, but what that means might be different for each person. I can only hope that we don’t get so caught up in the digital world that we miss out on all the adventure, romance, pain, fulfillment, and depth that our multi dimensional lives have to offer. That it’s okay to be by yourself and to laugh out loud without anyone even knowing it.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
"Whatever happened to courtesy? What can be so urgent that you have to look down at your phone in the middle of a dinner conversation with people who matter to you? You can't wait five minutes before staring at your phone?" and in an interview with Bob Green of CNN he says
"You should not be a slave to your telephone. The technology is there to serve you, not the other way around. If the technology is not making your life better -- if it is robbing you of experiences in the real world that you would otherwise be enjoying -- then you are working for it, when it should be working for you."
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Fast forward about ten years, to the first day I heard about myspace. It’s the latest thing, You will love it, Everyone’s doing it, is what I was told. I didn’t get it. Why do we need a space? Are people going to be able to reach me through this new fangled website? I reluctantly signed on and my profile picture was a photo of a chicken because that is how I felt about the whole experience, like a big scared chicken. It didn’t take long however to become completely engrossed. Then there was FaceBook, and then there was Twitter, and Tumbler, and Linkden...
The truth is when I said hello to my space (or you fill in the blank) I said good bye to my personal space. The person who was shocked about how revealing caller ID was, is now the one who is blogging almost daily to
thousands HUNDREDS a bunch of people I don’t even know.
My friend Katie said it well in a post that she wrote about Virtual Life vs Real Life
“I have to wonder how these devices interrupt our daily living so that we can keep up with our virtual living. Suddenly we can’t enjoy a delicious meal without telling hundreds of people about it instantly. We can’t take a trip somewhere without uploading a million photos as soon as we arrive home. I’ve even read Facebook statuses of women updating while in labor, usually telling 400 of their closest friends about the measurement of their cervix or how lovely the epidural is.”
Of course there is a positive element to this additional life that we live online and we all know it. My friend Katie is a prime example.
You'll have to excuse the exposed film in this photo as if the clothing didn't date it enough. I lived with Katie (shown left) and her family for a while when my parents moved to Texas in the middle of my 8th grade year. I shared a room with her sister/my best friend Melissa (on the right, and I am in the middle). We shared clothes, we laughed and ate chunky monkey while watching pop up videos on VH1. I was there when Katie revealed her tattoo to her mother. We talked about our new boyfriends, we cried about our latest breakups, there was even some skinny dipping somewhere in there. With the girls, at night, acting silly. NOT the boyfriends. We were wild, but not like that.
Then I moved away, and we gradually lost touch. Addresses, last names, and phone numbers changed and I didn’t talk to them for years until myspace came along. Thanks to the connectivity that we have through the internet I know that Melissa has two beautiful girls and Katie has a sweet baby boy. Because of Katie's blog, Mama the Reader,I know that the people that I affectionately called grandmother and granddaddy are doing well and growing some amazing vegetables, and have goats now!
I wouldn't have known any of this before social networking and I would be left with our memories, and just hope that they were all doing well. So, I will be the first one to vouch that being connected is not a bad thing, but where do we draw the line? That is what I am currently trying to find out.
Monday, September 19, 2011
We have built up a culture of distraction in order to keep us from whatever might happen should we not multitask for once. I say "we" because I am a part of it and it’s all very close to home for me. The instagraming, yahoo, blogging me. For example, I despise texting while driving, but every time I hear the little tone on my iphone alerting me that I have a new text or comment the more I automatically feel drawn to pick it up.
Several months ago I read a book called Hamlet’s Blackberry which is what inspired me to do this series.
In this book, by William Powers, he looks at the state of a generation entangled in hyperconnectivity and then compares it to that of seven different great philosophers from the past. As each chapter unfolds we find out our situation is not all that unique.
For example on page 93 in the chapter about Plato & Socrates we learn
"Even writing was once considered a new technology and just like many other new things it wasn’t as obvious of a step forward as we see it today. Socrates writes of the king’s view of this tool by saying that
'writing is a dangerous invention, because it doesn’t allow ideas to flow freely and change in real time, the way they do in the mind during oral exchange. Whereas conversation is all about back-and-forth, written language is a one way street: Once a thought is written down, it’s frozen and you can’t challenge it or change it’s position. It’s a record of ideas that already exist, rather than a way of creating new ones.'
Thinkers have been analyzing and debating this passage for ages, because Socrates got it so wrong. His reaction to writing is typical of the confusion and anxiety new technologies often cause."
Along with this excerpt from the book I scribbled loads of other quotes on scraps of paper that are now scattered about through drawers and old notebooks. This was my way of trying to cram every thought provoking point from the book into my head, primarily so that I could relay it to you. I highly recommend checking out Hamlet's Blackberry and I hope you will join me by sharing your own opinions and stories this week as I talk about the high tech, over stimulated, plugged in generation that we are all a part it and whether or not the perceived problem is in fact a problem.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
rolling the cookie dough into one giant cookie that fills the pizza pan. Bake according to directions (mine was 16-20 min. at 350 degrees). Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
For the topping you will combine sugar, cream cheese and Cool Whip. Spread over cookie crust. Arrange fruit on top.
Nancy's Cooking Tip: Simple Syrup
You can help keep cut up fruits from turning brown by coating them with an acidic juice such as lemon or orange. Also, a simple syrup mixture, which is made by boiling equal parts of sugar and water, is commonly used for soaking cakes or pastries to make them moist. This same combination can be used to soften or sweeten fresh or dried fruits, and can be flavored with lemon or orange juice.
We coated our fruit pizza with a juice flavored simple syrup to help keep the fruit fresh. Here is an example recipe:
- 1 quart filtered or distilled water
- ½ lb granulated sugar
- 2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 medium oranges)
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 medium lemons)
Natalie's Decorating Tip: My favorite part is decorating the pizza. You can get as creative as you want with your design. Cut up the fruit into bite size pieces. Use a variety of shapes to create interest such as, half circles, triangles, and dots. The fruit itself will really do all the work for you in this case because they are already so colorful and unique. Make sure that anything canned or juicy is drained well so that it don't bleed onto your frosting.
This 2011 pizza was for a class of '11 graduation party
and the #4 (shown at top) was for my son's 4th birthday.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
The big milestone of this year is his FIRST “friends” Birthday party. Up until this point we have celebrated with family only, but this year we also invited all of his little pals from church. I admit I was a little intimidated by the idea of entertaining all of these kiddos. Four year olds don’t shy away from expressing their true uncensored opinions. Fortunately, these were all really sweet kids. For me, the best part of the party was seeing their reactions to all the activities we had planned,
and some that we hadn’t
It was a great turn out and an unforgettable evening. I'm sure it will go down in my memory bank as one of the best birthday parties ever.
I have to admit though, this party did not just come together on it’s own I’ve been dreaming this night up for a long time. I even mentioned it on this blog more than once. I also left a comment at Givinguponperfect.com a year ago sharing my theme idea for Z’s party. And just like my anniversary and SJ’s birthday I will be posting A LOT more photos and details. I just can’t help myself.