The Gadget Fast

When I was a little kid, I slept up in our attic. It was cold and dark. Then, when I was 9, my dad installed a light for my room. Still it was cold, on some particularly cold days, if I brought up a cup of water and left it on the dresser, it would freeze.

A few years later, my dad installed an outlet, and then I had an AM clock radio that I could tune in the stations. Every once in a while I could pick up Spanish sounding stations. My older brother nearby had a tape player with Van Halen or Motley Crue going. We would often talk about stuff and spend time rough housing. On summer nights, my brother and I would walk down the creek bottom and play “Rambo” in which we would go to a railroad bridge and throw molotov cocktails at the abutments or make rafts out of  logs and float in a nearby fishing pond.

Today, I look at the kids out there. My son will invite a friend over on occasion. And they become terribly bored. Without a TV and very limited usage of the computer, his friends simply do not know how to keep themselves entertained. Meanwhile, my kids are busy rough housing, or they go down to this lake bed if they don’t like spending it in our house.

This disconnect bothers me. Should WW3 happen and we are left without electricity for an extended time, what are those kids going to do? Moreover, how will they be able to cope with reality and form real relationships with people? Is this what is happening to us as adults?

I find it very unsettling how people are becoming less and less social. Maybe it just comes with age, or maybe it is because of this little gadgets we have in our pockets. Many people live and die by these smartphones which are making people dumber in many respects.

In order to have the best of both worlds, I believe we need to learn to discipline ourselves in this regard. During the weekends, I usually leave my cellphone sitting on a particular shelf in my house. Sometimes, I will pick it up, but I try not to overdo it.

Try a fast from your electronics. Whether TV, surfing the web, on social websites such as this, or whatever. Try to limit yourself for a time. Instead of watching the nightly news, force yourself to go out into nature, or visit some neighbors or friends. There is a time for gadgets, but there is a time to be away from them. Make it happen.

Author: Jim Johnson

As a man in his early 40's, I grew up on a dairy farm in an irreligious home. Disgusted with the choice of women out there, I looked into religion to find a worthwhile mate. At 23, I joined the LDS (Mormon) faith, married, became a civil engineer, and now have six children. My favorite things are puppies, long walks on the beach, and the color blue (not really).

73 thoughts on “The Gadget Fast”

      1. they are communicating with one another.
        my friend and I enjoyed texting each other during movies. the texts would be insults of the people sitting around us in the theater. it was good fun i tell ya

  1. Tried to access akc from my work pc for the first time just now. Just for kicks. Was blocked. Warning said this site may contain content that could pose a risk to the firm. Hahaha…

      1. Haha…there’s an entire unseen security dept who does that. Almost 60K employees across the globe at this place.

        I’ve only once worked for a small firm. Never again. Not counting when I worked for Pop, of course.

    1. His dad installed electricity just as soon as it was invented.

      It’s funny because he almost froze to death.

      1. The house I grew up was bought as a two bedroom, one story. The “upstairs” was an empty loft with insulation on the floor. My dad re-framed it so there would be open space, then laid down plywood over the insulation to walk on. It was a work in progress as I was growing up.

  2. You have to pull the plug on everything. No gadgets, no electronics. Scouting should emphasize that. Using your hands and head is how you learn many important things that you rely on for the rest of your life. I haven’t followed the scouts too much lately but they seem to be hanging in there keeping the creed . . . eeh I guess . . .

  3. Yeah, I’ve never been one to carry the cellular phone around everywhere.
    Always just left it in my laptop bag at work, even when I go out for lunch.
    And leave it on my counter on the weekends.
    But, I have to say, I do use it more these days, mostly due to TG.
    And it does come in handy to check last minute scheduling changes at the agencies.
    Of course, the added usage was not an issue until I traded in my flip phone last year.

    1. My wife has a dumb phone. I love it. She can text or call. For work however, I have an iPhone it is mice, but I do find myself playing on it too much (like right now)

          1. Women are funny like that.

            It’s all about framing.

            “I was thinking of taking the boys to the strip club -”


            “- or teaching them to make molotov cocktails. What do you think?”

            1. Negotiations 101

              My son had a pryo phase a couple years ago, but is outgrowing it now. Maybe it would be the right time to teach him some proper skills at a local rock quarry/shooting range.

        1. Is that why people only want to text anymore? I never thought of it that way. Crazy to think people are so scared of letting the mask come off that they would rather isolate themselves.

          1. For me, it’s just because I know people are busy. I send a text so the person can check their phone and respond when they get a chance, rather than interrupting them if they are in a meeting or whatever.

            1. Agreed on your points, I just never get it when I see people texting back and forth. If I get more than one message back in real time, I will stop texting and call them.

          2. I always saw it as more of a tradeoff. A slower pace of conversing allows for more precision and more thoughtfulness.

            Let me change the context slightly. What say you when it comes to business and work related communication? Do you default to email or do you more frequently pick up your desk phone?

            In this instance, I prefer the email by an overwhelming margin, as it leaves an indisputable record of what was communicated. I also tend to manage emails in a To-Do list fashion, so tasks don’t get lost and forgotten.

      1. I enjoy flinging some poo now and again, but that’s really all that channel is good for. There is no meaningful discussion happening.

        1. Agreed, I scan through the articles, and fling poo in one or two comments then move on. No need to get in some argument with an idiot who never holds any semblance of the truth.

  4. In Mexico, we don’t have this problem. When my son’s get tired of packing bricks of black tar heroin, they go outside and shoot snakes with my tec-9.

    One time mi madre was making burritos and my little nino offered to help. Before I could smack him for being such a maricón, Madre said “it’s isn’t even remotely Mexican to OFFER to help” I’ll always refer to this as patriarcado navidad. Jej

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