The death of the family conversation. That’s what occurred when we introduced not only one, but, two iPods into our household.
For several years, my family whined and complained about my spending time at my computer and not spending time with them in the same room. They watched TV, I enjoyed surfing the Web and doing my game playing, shopping and reading online. Note that while in another room adjoining the living room, I could still hear the conversation and join in. If someone asked a question, I could answer. When the phone rang, I could answer. When someone knocked on the door, I could still respond by getting up and opening it.
Not so with the iPod situation. Both my son and my husband now have iPods. It’s a bit disconcerting because it’s difficult to see that they have their earbuds in and it looks like they’re just sitting in their chair. However, I can ask a question, call them to the phone, tell them dinner’s ready or a variety of other things and the only response is silence. It leads to a great deal of frustration on my part and a great deal of “you never told me that” on their part. While very happy that they have found technology they enjoy, it does create some communication barriers for a family.
I’ve found it to be particularly difficult when it’s used for an excuse not to talk to your family. If you’re listening to your iPod, it can easily become a reason to avoid instructions, discussions, etc., that you’d rather not engage in. This is definitely a negative when you’re trying to improve your understanding of and communication with, for instance, a teenager.
So, I guess I won’t bother to feel guilty anymore about spending time playing games at my computer. At least while I’m doing that, I’m always listening to my family. Can’t really say that about the iPod generation. 😦