Updates and Field Notes

I’ve been taking a break from blogging; it’s good to take a step back from time to time, and I think I needed that space to reflect on technology (and how we sometimes use it as a substitute for other things in our lives). Still thinking…do you think blogs and social media are taking the place of actual human contact? Is it possible to use technology as a crutch to avoid or postpone interacting in the real world? I know that I use blogging to process my days and experiences, to make sense of things, to inscribe a narrative…but most of all to establish human contact and reach out to people, and I guess I’m trying to decide if this technology is fulfilling that need for contact in a meaningful way.
Hence, the break. It’s the last few weeks of the pregnancy and a good time to be going inside myself a little bit as I prepare for all the life changes.
For now, I’m doing weekly monitoring at chez la sage-femme and walking every day to stay loose and keep all my pinched nerves and squished organs from tightening up and causing real discomfort. I’m writing this from the midwife office now, actually, listening to the baby heartbeat over the monitor and watching it record my contractions.

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I’ll be back soon, with some shorter posts for the time being. Keep me and Mathieu in your thoughts as we gear up for the big date!

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2 thoughts on “Updates and Field Notes

  1. I always defend the technology when people get down on it; it’s really the only way I can communicate with the people I love, with my support network. None of them lives in Alabama or Louisiana. But then, lately, I find I’ve always got my face glued to a screen. Like I’m not living life in any of the places I’m in (even when I’m in SF) because I’m just stuck to this screen instead. Last night I read a book for the first time since I graduated (!), and it was hard for my eyes to adjust to the words on the page. I stopped twice in the first chapter to post on facebook about the book I was reading.

    I may have a problem. I may have known about this for a long, long time.

    So, I’ve decided to restrict my internet usage. Hopefully this will result in better use of the time I *am* on the internet. I’d like to keep using facebook as my morning “news,” but restrict it to 30 minutes while I drink my tea. And later in the day, I’d like to use it to write on my blog, read your blog, and read any interesting articles my friends have posted for 1-2 hours max. I’d like to stop watching hours and hours of shitty tv on Hulu, checking facebook like a crackhead every 15 minutes for some new distraction.

    So don’t stop blogging! You are part of my new internet plan. If I can’t keep up with you online I can’t keep up with you at all. ALTHOUGH. I keep toying with this idea of trying to become a letter writer again. I historically suck at mailing things, but I’ve been trying to improve that. Maybe if I had your address…

    • I defend the technology too. Most of the people I love are far away. I don’t use Facebook just to take weird personality quizzes; for me, it’s often my sole contact with close friends and family, and to speak English. The problem for me is twofold: one, my loneliness here has made me compulsive with it, addicted…which sometimes leads me to, one, not engage with my actual real life, and two, develop unrealistic expectations for emotional connection that can’t be fulfilled by Liking someone’s status…which gets me depressed and reinforces the isolation. I don’t like that I check social media a billion times a day. And as you pointed out, it is affecting my ability to concentrate on tasks, to paint or read uninterrupted. I’m used to scanning through constantly updating status updates, not settling in to read a book. It’s like my brain is changing. I think technology is good; I just don’t trust how I’m using it and am doubting the role it’s playing in my life. I’m trying to pin down exactly what it is I need from it, and if those needs could be better met in a non virtual way. I’m trying to be aware of what it is substituting for, how I’m using it as a surrogate to developing actual real life connections. Living in a new culture is complex, and I’ve reacted to the disorientation by compartmentalizing things, isolating, building walls to protect myself from the vulnerability of human interaction. I just want…to be sure. That I’m using technology for the right reasons.

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