Technology surrounds me, and I like to think that I've maintained some level of independence from digital technologies, but the facts just don't support that idea. In a given week, the hours I've spent watching a screen can be measured in days. I'm online almost perpetually when I'm home, even though my attention may not be on the internet itself. I work nights, and while I carry out my duties there I've either got an I-Pod to surf the web or an old palm pilot I use as a word processor (which I actually used to type up this post). I engage in some correspondence through Facebook, but the majority of my online interaction is through the forums and message boards of communities that share my interest, in which I'm often a vocal, central member.
With all that said, I do try to keep my 'online time' prioritized, and to keep it from becoming the addiction I know it can be. At certain times in the past our home has not had the internet, and those times were actually quite relieving; a sanctuary from the outside world, if you will. Though I would have to go elsewhere to turn in online assignments, it actually forced me to plan for such events and organize my life. Such occasional limitations have proven to be a constructive element in my life, and have helped me draw a line more clearly between what digital technology is a necessity in my current lifestyle and what is merely a luxury I can currently afford.
I'm old enough to remember times before the internet, and when a mobile phone was one that had no cord attaching it to the wall but was limited in range from its cradle. A memory of those times helps me appreciate the benefit they are and gives me a frame of reference for how technological innovations have shaped our culture. I think this awareness will help me show students how to use technology for their benefit within the classroom. While I think that students will already come to the classroom more tech savvy than me, I can help them see the constructive uses of the internet and other information tools.