Thursday, May 1, 2008

Life Without A Computer

Well, I just lived life without a computer (again) for a full week. This time it was not on just broke and now is fixed. So I am sorry for the silence and for not replying to emails. (I was not ignoring you!) It has made me think a lot about whether emails and blogging help to create relationships and community or really just isolate us even more. I started this blog one year ago this month so that I could share what I was learning and doing with my family so as not to feel isolated. But now I am experiencing a different type of isolation. Now, thousands of people know all about me yet I don't feel any closer to them. I'm not saying I'm going to stop blogging. I'm just realizing how much it has crippled my relationships with people I love. I want you to see what's going on in pictures etc, but it's so one-sided and too convenient. I'm realizing that technology is a two sided coin. It makes our lives efficient so we have more time. But more time for what? If we use the technology to make our relationships and interactions with others efficient (which I am so guilty of) than we are saving time in vain. Is this forum of interaction really doing us any good? Are we better off because we know about one another through a screen. In days before the telephone you'd have to go out of your way to talk to someone face to face. I think a lot more relationship and community existed in a time like that.... I'm just thinking out loud here. I don't have an agenda or solution. Just sharing my thoughts. Do you have any thoughts about it?


Shari Miller said...

Hi Kristi-
My name is Shari Miller. I heard about your blog through Kristi Kronz, I am also friends with Dyana Coose. The three of us were in the same youth group, many, many years ago. Smile. I also have a blog titled Leaving a Legacy just like your friend Angie.

My thoughts on the computer and blogging are that it can be a good thing to a point. As long as you are capable of not letting it take you away from family time, then I think it can be a postitive thing. For example I try to limit my computer time to before my kids are up or after they go to bed. Also, if I am just to busy, or don't have anything to say on my blog, I don't worry about it.

There are some positive things that can be taken from the world of computers and blogging. I originaly started my blog to help me focus on the positive things in life and to have a type of journal that I could keep for my children. It can also be an inspiration to the person on the other side of the screen that may be going through a hard day. It could be that extra push to keep that tired homeschooling momma going. It could be a source of inspiration to someone unkown, as you have been to me. You could be a voice to allow God to speak to others, that they may not have otherwise heard, such as in the case of a blog my friend has titled Set Your Heart to Seek God.

I do agree with you though that the best form of communication is face to face, a telephone call or a hand written note. I sometimes wonder where the art and pleasure of hand written notes has gone to. There has to be a fine balance in our new tecnological age as to how much is to much, because it can get out of hand if it takes away from your family time or your responsibilities. As to how much is to much and when is it appropriate, I believe that is something that can only be deceided between each person and their family as they follow the Lord's leading.

Have a wonderful day and thank you for being a blessing to others.

Kristi Kronz said...

Kristi, I'm feeling the same thing. It's convenience is becoming inconvenient. And yet -- it does save me oodles of time, particularly for family living far away to see and keep up with what we are doing. For me, the blog serves more as a scrapbook and is therapy somewhat for that purpose.
My difficulty, particularly with email is the "tyranny of the urgent". It is set up to be something that you can or cannot respond to. If this is the case, why do I feel I must attend to it just as if it is the phone ringing??! It can (and does at times) become an "idol" in my life. I want to use it as God designed ... as a tool and a bridge to reach so many. Let us endeavor to pray for His leading in this. Blessings sister, K.

Angie Tolpin said...

I think you are totally right about the "two sided coin." It is definately more efficient to post pictures online rather than emailing them individually to all your family members or worse... printing them out and mailing them all individually ... which is what I used to do!
I do have more time now... however blogging can become addictive and consume too much time as well. I am so new to this whole internet world (since Feb). I struggled at first with spending too much time figuring out how to do this or that to my blog to make it "better." It has been ok since my husband has been traveling and out of town... to do it on my own time at night... but I have found that when I spend too much time on the computer... I do less reading, learning, and "real conversations" with other people. I am totally convicted to not loose those very special people in my life because of becoming to "anti-social" in front of a screen.
I have to say that in my family I have felt like people never really knew me... until now... they read my blog and see into my heart a bit more. I have even seen my mom become more supportive of home schooling since she has read a few of my posts on it and sees the depth of my convictions which are often hard to share in conversations with people who do not agree with your choice of education. You are right... it is two sided!

Thanks for your post!

And don't ever worry about not getting back to me right away... I don't take offense... I know how busy life gets with little ones and life... it is the season we are in right now!
Love you Sister! said...

I totally agree... on the one hand. Going visiting... was a major past time for many Christian families... and is a really good thing. And should be continued!

Yet, as the world grows smaller... isn't it cool that I can see a picture of your beautiful children from the day before or minutes before... as if you are right here... yet I am hundreds of miles away?

I think that modern technology is a wonderful thing... it draws me closer to those I love in a real and colorful way... even though they are very far away.

Yet, it should not become an all consuming thing... everything in moderation can be a blessing. If we allow ourselves to be ruled by them... it is not such a blessing but a yoke that becomes rather burdensome.

Relationships take many a form in this modern area of a very small world community. Think of how much one person can impact thousands. That is kind of an amazing thing is it not?

My advise... do all things as if you are doing them for the Lord! Enjoy all the blessings He has given you and take advantage of the time when you computer breaks down to just sit and be silent :) Or... get in your car and go visiting! We are only eight hours away... I would love to see you in the flesh :)

Love you.

lkd said...

I understand how you feel, but I want you to know that I have benefited from your blog. Even though we have never met, you give me strength and encouragement. Your blog has inspired me to continue seeking the Lord for our family and tackling the tasks He sets before us regardless of what our neighbors are doing. Without blogs, my family would still follow God wholeheartedly. But with the few blogs I look at, I find strength in knowing that other families, and moms, are hearing and following the same commands. Thank you!
PS. I make bread every morning now (using your recipe) and my family loves it! I have shared a number of loaves with others and it truly makes their day.

Kristi said...

Hi Kristi! This is Kristi McKenney, one of the people who reads your blog, but doesn't know you very well =) I just thought I'd give my two cents about blogging...I actually love it! I do see the point in that we aren't really interacting with one another, but in my case I've found the opposite to actually be true. I've actually met and become friends with people whom I never would have through reading each others blogs. I've gotten to know them and vice versa which makes the possibility of talking and/or deepening a friendship a lot more possible/probable than without the gets you past the first "nice to meet you, what the heck do we talk about since I don't know anything about you" part of a new relationship. So for me, I'm totally in favor of blogging!

Jenne said...

Oh how often I have felt the awkwardness of seeing another lady at church, having kept up with their blog but feeling strangely like I have been evesdropping.

On the one hand I feel like I "know" the person, but in a face-to-face interaction I go completely blank. I know a lot ABOUT them, but I do not really know them: their communication style, their body language, their off-the-cuff way of speaking... all of it is unfamiliar to me. You can so easily get fooled into thinking someone is a "friend" when really they just "could be" a friend, because true relational investment has not yet been made.

And in all fairness, I had a friend in high school with whom written letters were the only form of communication. One year she invited me to her birthday party and I realized very quickly that though she was a good friend, and though I knew her heart, I had no idea how to interact with her in the flesh. All her other friends - with whom she had had much face time with - were very comfortable around her. I just wanted to leave and go write her another letter.

Bottom line, here, is that there is no replacement for in-the-flesh conversations: not emails, not blogging, not even letters.

I blog because I love it. It is therapy, it is a scrapbook (well, sort of), it is a hobby (I have so few of them these days), and it is a way to be encouraged and encouage others. But I agree with you that none of us should be fooled in to thinking that it is any sort of true relational tool.

For the record, I am so glad you keep a blog because I so enjoy keeping up with your life and enjoy being challenged by the things you write about.

Good post.

m-jane said...


First, thank you for the time you spend to invest in your blog. It has encouraged me and taught me so many new things. I have recently been praying about starting a blog and all the "behind the scenes" info is really helpful.

What I do love about blogs is that I feel encouraged to see other women out there, (even though you are far, far away from me) doing things God's way! When I first came to your blog, I cannot tell you the joy I felt reading through your posts. I also really love when my favorite bloggers take time off, because it tells me the priorities in their life and I respect them even more for that.

Thank you! Remember that all we do is for God, and we must first align with His agenda. If we have that focus and mindset, we can end our days knowing we got is all accomplished...all HE wanted us to do! I feel like that is your heart, thank you for your winsome example of being a woman after God's own heart.

OH! By the way...we LOVE your bread!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you but, happened on your blog through Libby S. I go to church with her parents.
I have really been encouraged by your blog, all the things you share, healthy eating etc. Your creativity gives me good ideas of where to start, what to try etc. You have to follow your convictions but, even though I've never met you, you are a blessing.
Michelle D.