Thursday, February 23, 2012
The internet has allowed many families to live simply and home-based. We, for one, use the internet for nearly 75% or more of our sales. The family here - is making and selling and living together on their simple homestead. There are many others.
I am just in awe of how fast technology is advancing. There are so many areas that are just beyond my comprehension at the moment - I just don't have the time to try and keep up on it all. Mike and I talk often about how much do we need to make our living. Do we need to do facebook, twitter and such? I have started on pinterest, but really that is my creative outlet. I don't think of it as contributing in any way to our income. While I have a facebook account I have yet to do anything with it and cannot figure out how it might contribute to our business.
Blogging is the one thing I started years ago to share our family's dreams and accomplishments as a way to keep a journal and to just let others know that there is another option.
Am I going to become completely out-of-it if I don't keep up? Can we continue to make a living with our little etsy shop and blog?
Wendell Berry, last I read, still typed his writing on a manual typewriter. Not sure if he still does, but if so, he is still making a living without using computers.
We still have dial-up internet. Our latest conversations have been about whether or not we should get a satellite connection. Broadband is not available at our rural location yet. We are asking ourselves if it will increase our income. Do we need to earn more? What would we do differently? Will it save a substantial amount of time or just lead to wasting more time? Will it instead be more of a distraction? Right now I go to our local library 2 times a week to keep up on our marketing (checking stats, feedback in our shop and searching for new ideas, checking out other toy and wedding blogs/shops, etc.), keeping up with blog friends, researching homeschooling topics, and making purchases. I am able to list items in our shop, make blog posts and answer emails just fine with our dial-up at home. With a higher speed would we all be distracted with all there is on youtube (educational right?), would it be tempting to constantly look things up instead of going to a book (but maybe that is the future and I am just fighting/avoiding the inevitable), would I be overwhelmed with all the options or does this just become part of life and we would all become used to it? Do I want us to?
So many magazines have gone digital and we cannot download anything with dial-up and I don't even like reading them on my little laptop. Thank goodness for new publications such as Taproot and for Aubrey's handwritten newsletter. (I have passed on the names of those of you that had a couple of issues left from Plain and Joyful Living - please contact me if that is not satisfactory to you.)
While visiting family over the weekend and talking with my aunt I learned what an Android is and now I am starting to understand I-pod, I-pad, etc... She said something that has also got me thinking. She said she really just bought the Android to keep up with technology. She already has a laptop but she doesn't want to be 75 (she is now 57) and have a hard time learning anything new in relation to technology. We don't have any of those little devices, although our sixteen year old son, did buy himself an I-pod recently. However, he can't use the online option at home as we don't have wireless here.
We don't even have a cell phone yet.
For now, we are at the point of asking ourselves the following questions when considering a new technology -
1. Is it necessary for us to make our living?
2. Will it save us a considerable amount of time?
3. Will it end up being wasteful? Will it just be junked in a year or two, for example, and end up having to be thrown away.
4. Is it safe? I still wonder about all of the waves. We are blessed to be in a little knoll where even most cell phones don't come in well. I pray that all of these waves are harmless, but I am not convinced.
5. Will it bring our family closer together or separate us more? For example, each person on their own screens.
What do you think?
Has technology made positive or negative contributions to your life or both?