Technology – The Double Edged Sword

We all have days when we curse technology… whether because our computer crashes, the internet goes down or we are inundated with emails. With the pandemic I admit I am suffering some anxiety even though I am a) a logical fairly intelligent human being, b) I work from home and even before this had limited outside exposure, and c) I, and most of the people I know and love, are not at risk even if we do contract the virus. I am cursing technology because without it we wouldn’t be inundated with the repetition of what is happening in the world… the flood of not only information but misinformation feeding our anxiety, fueling our panic.

Before the internet and cable television, news on TV and the radio was offered during set times of the day and physical newspapers were printed daily. You could watch/read it or not. It wasn’t right there on your phone, on demand. It wasn’t calling to you from the TV in the next room. It wasn’t just a “click” on the keyboard.

But here is the other side of that “sword”…

Without technology…
– My business wouldn’t exist
– We wouldn’t be able to work remotely
– Remote teaching wouldn’t be possible
– Keeping in contact with coworkers, family and friends would be more difficult
– Research techniques and results couldn’t be shared as quickly
– I wouldn’t have an unlimited amount of reading material at my fingertips, thank you Audible and Kindle
– I wouldn’t be able to access “comfort” TV 24/7 (Definition of “comfort TV” = 1950’s and 60’s sitcoms like “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Leave It to Beaver”)
– More nursing homes/elder care facilities would be hit harder because the speed of communication would be reduced

It’s the lack of control over a situation that feeds the anxiety and panic. But we can control how we approach it. I have friends in the arts who make a living playing gigs in bars and restaurants… they are getting creative by live streaming performances with a Paypal “tip jar” or a link to their Patreon site. Many of our local restaurants are offering curbside pick-up and I just saw a local jewelry store is offering curbside pick-up if you want to purchase a gift card. These people aren’t asking for a handout, they are just trying to make it through so they can continue to serve us in days to come. Wow! The pandemic is bringing out our creativity. We should remember the Renaissance came out of the Dark Ages – a rebirth of the arts and sciences.

So here is what I am doing to reduce my anxiety:
– I have deleted my FB app from my cell phone
– I am trying to only check news once per day, which is hard because my husband has a news channel on the entire day to “know what is going on”
– I watch and listen to talented friends live streaming on FB (check out epschwartz.com and kathleendooleymusic.com)
– I listen to lighthearted or educational Podcasts (check out “Old Guys Who Love Things” and “History Chicks”)

I’d love to know how you are reducing anxiety or creative ways you or someone you know are adjusting.

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