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Sunday, December 19, 2010

How Technology is Ruining/Changing/Improving the American Family

You remember the days where you had one phone in your house and when it rang, you had no idea who was on the other end.  You remember those days, right????

If you don't remember those days, I'm way too old to be typing this fast.

I was wondering how technology has changed the American Family and through an enlightening conversation with Husband (football was on, but computers weren't), I believe it has.

Wives of yesteryear used to have to pick up the phone no matter what.  If it was their mother in law, they had to talk to them (whether they wanted to or not) and hence, a relationship was born.

They couldn't decide whether or not to answer to phone based on any sort of identification because there wasn't any.  You answered it in the hopes that it was one of your friends calling to rescue you from your whiny 2-year old, but then it was your grandmother who talks really slowly about the same thing over and over again.  Hence, a relationship was nurtured.

Wives of yesteryear had to trust that their husband would be on time and when he wasn't, they couldn't call him to find out where he was...they just had to keep dinner warm and hope for the best.  Hence, a relationship was strengthened or weakened (depending on why he was late).

At this point, we have no house phone.  If Husband's mother calls, she calls his cell phone.  Hence, no reason to call me...no reason for us to talk.

If my mother needs to talk to me, she calls my cell phone.  Hence, no reason for her to speak to Husband b/c he's not going to answer my phone...even by accident.  After all, she has her own ring tone.

If grandmothers, friends, fathers, sisters, or brother call, they can reach us directly.  No need to have a conversation with the husband/wife because there is no communal phone line...there is no reason to even check caller ID.  Hence, no relationship born, nurtured, strengthened, or weakened. 

Add to that the fact that American families are physically moving further and further away from their "home base" and unable to even see each other as much.  Couple that with the lack of conversations in any other manner, there is a serious disconnect there.  If I want to know something from MIL, I'll often ask Husband to email her rather than do it myself.  Why do I do this?  I could just as easily email her myself (and often do b/c I get impatient), but why is my first inclination to have him do it?  I'm completely comfortable contacting her myself.  Do I feel that it's his place?  Do I feel that I don't want to overstep my bounds?  Would I feel like that if I answered the house phone and had a conversation with her on a weekly basis?

There is a jack for a phone in our kitchen (we replaced it last year b/c it was dirty...haha...useful, right?).  Nothing is connected to it.  We should probably cover it up with a picture or something.  We rely solely on cell phones.

What is your house like?  Do you have a house phone that rings off the hook?  Do you speak with your in-laws as they call the house?  Or are you like me?  A social recluse?  Just kidding...I welcome communication, but I'm just wondering.  Or are you happy with how things are?  Are you pleased to keep your own little corner of the world without opening it up to conversations that don't need to be?  How does your house operate?  You know what's cool about commenting on this blog post too?  Your in-laws will never read it...mine will, but yours won't.  Tell me what really happens in your house!