Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Take Me Away!

Remember those old Calgon bath commercials? Maybe you are too young. The chorus was, "Calgon! Take me away!" In the background of this series there are always screaming kids, annoying husbands or other crises. And the solution is to take a luxurious bath. OK--check it out for yourself:

Or a "newer" version:

I often get that "take me away" feeling, but not necessarily because of kids, dogs, or bosses. Sometimes I just spend too much time on my computer and wish someone would physically pull me away from my sweet Mac. Compared to most people, I probably don't spend much time on the computer at all. I don't have a data-enabled phone, rarely text, don't do facebook or online social networking, and *try* to keep email at a minimum. While I know others are more addicted, I still feel too much of my day is spent staring at a computer screen, even if that is mostly the fault of my job and hard work at said job.

We have gotten so accustomed to communicating through new technologies, we sometimes forget the risk involved. Identity theft and fraud are rampant and can totally destroy your life for a while when it happens. I was reminded of this when last week, a friend of mine got her gmail account hacked into. At first it seemed innocent: an email sent out from her account with a plea for money because she was "trapped" in London / Caribbean / Africa / Europe. But when I forwarded her the email back (rather than replied) to let her know someone had hacked her email, and received a reply (!) I knew this was more serious. Turns out someone stayed in her account for about 2 hours. During that time, they had extensive conversations with various friends and family of hers as well as acquaintances. The hacker got personal data including bank info, amazon orders, job applications, ticket purchase confirmations, etc. And this is someone who rarely even uses her email. She had to spend a week undoing the damage, changing all the bank accounts and passwords she could get her hands on. Not pleasant. We should always remember that the data we send over the internet--no matter how much we think we can outsmart others--is vulnerable.

Yes, I know this is a wedding/crafts blog. But I'm allowed to go on a tangent, especially when it is something about which I feel passionate! Technology is no exception.

And now, to the real point of my post. A wonderful new article written in the Wall Street Journal about unplugging yourself and your family. I couldn't have said it better myself. Not only the text, but the images are really super! It scares me to think about the kids presently being raised on DVD players, computers, TV and other electronic technology. How they lose out on so many tangible, concrete skills and joys, makes me sad. Instead of living, they are watching; instead of talking, they are typing. It's about so much more than social skills and personality--research has shown that these kids' brain waves and mental cognition is actually being altered, and for the worse.

Enough said. Check out the article here. And then turn off your computer and take a bath.

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