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5 years ago by


I’m scared.

You see, I worry the amount of time people spend on their phones is just going to get worse with time and younger people growing up now are not even going to recognize cursive, let alone be able to read it. Attention spans have gotten shorter, people can’t waste the time it takes to write/text/type the three remaining letters in the word “very” because typing/texting “v cool” saves you so much time.

I worry about the downfall of communication and people’s ability to hold an engaging conversation without the constant interruption of technology and at least once a week I am reminded of movies like Brazil, Idiocracy, Wall-E, The Fifth Element (all amazing movies, for the record) just walking down the street almost bumping into people who can’t look up from their phones.

I fully recognize that this all sounds a bit dark and negative, but I could go on for days about how freaked out I am by it all. So, I thought I’d start trying to keep up with more traditional methods of communication to make myself feel better about it all! You know, actual phone conversations with friends and family far away, hand written letters to people, snail mail thank you notes.

And then two weeks ago I moved into an apartment where I get zero, yes, absolutely no cell phone reception!! So, looks like I’ll be embracing technology by face-timing my face off, writing long, detailed emails and some handwritten notes in between. I am also using this as an excuse to buy myself cute stationery!

How do you find balance in this ever changing, futuristic world?


Add yours
  • Hey Garance !
    Suis tout à fait OK avec toi, la technologie c’est comme tout… Super mais à petite dose… L’overdose n’est jamais loin… Je voulais aussi en profiter pour te remercier de traduire tout ton blog en français et rester ainsi fidèle et connectée avec tes origines !
    Souvent je me fais la remarque : ” Et si avec sa ta notoriété toujours plus grandissante, son agenda de fou, ses multiples sollicitations elle arrêtait d’écrire en français pour proposer un blog uniquement en anglais…”
    Pfiou… Le drame pour l’hexagone…
    Alors merci de nous écrire tous tes fabuleux textes dans la magnifique langue de Molière et vive la France !!!!!!!

  • On the one hand, the wonderful Internet allows me to live in the middle of nowhere in southern France and work with people around the world. It let my parents in the U.S. watch my kid grow up, via Skype between the annual in-person visits.
    On the other hand, I hate seeing groups of young people, together, all looking down at their phones. They don’t talk. Sometimes, I’m told, they are messaging each other, the person right next to them. That seems so sad.

  • I’m 25, so I am part of the last generation that remembers a time without the Internet–as a kid, no one had the Internet, and then when I got to middle school, everyone was just getting dial-up AOL in their homes. You would ask your friends if they had AIM or if their free trial was up (no one paid for the dial-up, we all just used the AOL free trials until they ran out haha), and then you’d race home from school to chat with them, and then ten minutes later, your dad would need to use the phone and the Internet would get unplugged.

    Today, the idea of dial-up is laughable, but I was part of a generation where technology increased so rapidly it’s insane–for someone born in 1920 who’d be 25 in 1945, it wasn’t a completely different world 25 years later; I’m sure the changes were still jarring, but the leaps and bounds in technology and communication were nothing compared to my lifespan. For me, born in 1991, I can definitely say it’s a completely different world in 2016. The world I remember as a child and the world I live in today are not the same–true for everyone, but in the frame of technology, particularly valid for people my age.

    There are things I love about this new era–always being able to talk to your loved ones, never missing a date or hangout due to an inability to reach someone, seeing so much of the world and having so much knowledge at your fingertips. And then there are things I hate–people who sit on their phones at dinner, people who can’t stand to be “bored” for five minutes, kids who are literally shoved in front of an iPad from age 2 and will never remember what it was like to get an hour of TV time a day and have to play outside or use their imaginations instead. Technology will continue to barrel onward, so it’s up to people to mete out how much they allow into their life, and to make an effort to communicate face-to-face. I think trying to be polite and human is the best we can do–but who knows what things will be like 25 years from now? Screens implanted in our skin? It’s not really crazy to think that way, with how quickly things have progressed, and the future of all this technology is what interests (and scares) me.

  • I agree with everything you said and you said it so well I have nothing to add.

  • Alexandra October, 25 2016, 9:03

    Eliza, YES. I am 28, so I was part of the same generation: my family got our first computer when I was in the 4th grade, I didn’t really start using AOL/AIM until I was about 11/12, and I got a phone at 13, “for emergencies” (that still seems so young to have a phone even though kids now get phones at 5). I am constantly so thankful that I was able to experience childhood without cell phones and internet and Instagram, that I went outside and played and used my imagination and had time to make crafts and think and create. Sure, kids can and still do these things, but it is more natural to now be on the Internet 24/7, and resisting this type of lifestyle takes serious effort from parents and families. Look, technology is awesome and has opened up an entirely new world of knowledge and opportunity for us, but it still makes me uneasy. It’s so true how quickly things changed within our lifetime, and I often miss the good old days of truly being PRESENT when friends and family got together. I guess we just have to remain conscious in order not to become full-blown technology zombies. I am interested to see how our relationship to technology evolves — will things settle and fall into balance, or will everything just keep spiraling out of control?

  • Could not agree more.
    I just came back from a trip to Africa which seriously limited my wifi time and allowed absolutely zero text messages – it was the best time of my life. When I go camping and have no access to the outside world I am the happiest being.
    I love social media and my phone so much of the time, but it’s so good, and so necessary, to have that time away – handwrite, look at the clouds, SMILE AT A STRANGER.

  • Jennifer October, 25 2016, 9:56 / Reply

    I called a friend the other day and she texted back asking what was up.
    It makes me sad. I text. I text my husband at work because it’s productive. He can’t speak to me but I can ask him to pick up something or let him know right away the boys are fine. I text some friends because I feel like people are busy and I don’t want to bother them or get in the way of their life…but I really want to talk. I’m actually sad about this. Who can I talk to?
    I have been hand writing notes all my life I strive to do that and more often. But my current focus is to get conversations going. Meet for coffee or wine and talk. Chat. Converse. Be present with each other. I miss that. I’m being to feel like no one wants to actually talk to me and it’s not me it’s the the way of the world but I dislike that I now feel guilty for calling.
    Great post! Merci.

  • Je suis d’accord tout à fait.
    But I also want to add it’s still possible to raise a kid that isn’t addicted to the internet. My son is 3 years old and never has touched an iPad, let alone play games on it. Although he does watch shows on YouTube and although he’s already able to make a phone call on my cell phone, that’s it. Other than that he’s used to play with his old fashioned toys. Inmy opinion it takes more time to ‘train’ a child to get used to these, and to develop creativity, but afterwards it’s very rewarding to see how my son can create toys and games from scratch everywhere.
    I think speed and effort is the biggest difference between classic and new media and technologies. All the old ones take time and concentration but are rewarding. Most of the new ones on the other hand seem to be very easy but are also limiting. For a kid: there usually is only one of two ways to play a computer game (= super exciting in the beginning, but soon boring). For an adult: there simply is too much choice, too much of the perfect life and too much of our own, already well-known world.

  • I really hope that there will be an uprising against digital communication in the way that Hygge and adult colouring have risen against our glorification of “busy”. We’re beginning to realise we need quiet time and to take better care of ourselves. So many people now suffer from social anxiety and fear of speaking on the telephone, we’re losing the art of conversation and truly connecting with others. It’s a very sad situation for the younger generations who will have no concept of what socialising was like before the internet, those of us who do must keep the art of conversation alive.

  • I know right !!! Wall-e, is so real ! And I ALWAYS send postcards to my friends and family when on holiday :)

  • I agree with all you wrote and the wonderful comments. Technology is exciting and can make our lives easier but there’s a downside too. I’m grateful to have experienced life before this big change. I’m concerned about how younger generations are growing up lacking social skills and addicted to screens. Hopefully parents will guide children on a balanced path. And we can all do whats needed to not get so caught up in technology that we lose important qualities.
    I love more than ever simpler things done by hand and from the heart – written cards, drawing, home- cooking, reading a real book!

  • Coucou Garance,
    Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec vous! Et je suis même très inquiète que de plus en plus d’école remplace les cahiers par des tablettes. Bientôt les enfants ne sauront plus écrire! Et au risque de paraître pessimiste, sa m’inquiète toutes ces histoires de robots et de nouvelles technologies -dit elle en tapant sur son clavier de téléphone -non mais tout ça pour dire que je trouve ça flipant!

  • J’adore ecrire avec un stylo a plume, envoyer des cartes postales, telephoner et entendre une voix amie, je ne veux pas etre esclave de la tehnologie : a petites doses, comme le reste. :-)

  • Sandrine Vaillancourt October, 26 2016, 6:52 / Reply

    Tout à fait d’accord! J’ai encore des correspondantes à qui j’envoie des lettres tous les mois, c’est magique surtout de recevoir une lettre écrite à la main!

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