Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine.
“I love technology, but not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology—always and forever.”–Kip, Napoleon Dynamite
Yes, just like Kip, I love technology. Always and forever.
I don’t just love technology because it makes my life so very convenient—calling, texting, Facebook, email, GPS all in one pocket-sized device? Brilliant.
Nope, that’s not my real reason. I love technology because I love connectivity and community.
I totally agree.
Down time, family time, outdoor time—these should fill our free time with genuine, real, tangible relationships; time to be artistic and playful and maybe send postcards instead of emails. In fact, I wrote this post out by hand first, because I love the ink-on-my-index-finger-paper-cut-on-my-knuckle kind of writing.
But I love, love, love technology. Because when my five-year-old nephew asks me, “Auntie Sarah, will you write your name in my book? I don’t want to forget you when I move back to Africa.” I can say to him, “You won’t forget me—you’ll talk to me on Skype, just like you did for the past two years from Kenya.” He smiles back at me and lets me write in his book anyway. And on holidays and birthdays I will call them up on Skype to celebrate from across the world together.
Facebook will help me watch them grow. This five-year-old and his two sisters will be bigger, smarter, stronger next time I squeeze their little bodies, but I’ll have seen their latest haircuts, dance moves and the smiles on their faces when they read their first books.
Meanwhile, I can chat with an old friend of my sister’s in Iceland and collaborate on an illustration project for his writing—all the way across kilometers and seas. (I promise, Sam, I’m working on the drawing over the holiday.)
And when my best friend lived in Norway, I Skyped with her from my phone at a rest stop in Arizona so she could cry and I could take a stretch break from my road trip. Or there was that time in Los Angeles when I found out, via Facebook, that a childhood friend was living just 15 miles from my place. We met for lunch and I was reminded how nice it was to have my history known without explanations or apologies.
And now I get to write and edit for a magazine in Canada that I heard about from Facebook. I am honored to write for a friend and editor-in-chief who rallied women around me in this great, global, virtual community while I lay in bed recovering from an injury last April.
It’s still good to unplug sometimes. I tend to turn my virtual friendships into real, tangible, loving relationships—like when I trek up to Surrey, B.C. to have coffee with my favorite South African sister, because, after all, this tech stuff is really just a tool. But girl—do I love it.