I really dislike how much I rely on technology. On our recent trip to Wales we came a bit unstuck when, on our (long) car journey there, we hit a closed road. We were diverted, along with a long stream of cars, but our trusty sat nav kept trying to take us back to the closed road. “It’ll recalculate in a minute,” I said confidently.
30 minutes later, we were still listening to the dulcet tones of our sat nav saying “Turn around where possible” whilst trying to work out if we were still on the correct diversion route. I tried to access Google Maps on my phone, to reassure us that we weren’t driving towards Aberdeen rather than Pembrokeshire – but we had no phone reception (never mind 3G). It was dark, we were tired, the 3-year-old was getting ratty in the back, and I just wished I’d brought a good old fashioned road map of the UK with us. (Who am I kidding? We don’t even own one of those anymore, not like when I was 17 and first passed my driving test – back then, in 1996, I used my road map on a weekly basis.)
But it got me thinking about technology and how much I rely on it. It’s crazy how our daily lives are supported by hopping online and using the internet. When we’re in the house, our wireless broadband router is pretty much constantly in use – with its little lights flashing furiously as it aids us in all sorts of ways. In fact, if we didn’t have broadband, I’ve worked out that these are the things that we wouldn’t be able to do:
- Get a few more minutes of shut eye as our 3-year-old clambers onto our bed at 7am and we give her the iPad to play some Toca Boca games.
- Use our Apple TV to access Netflix (oh how good is Orange Is The New Black?)
- Catch up on episodes of Downton Abbey that we’ve missed with our TV catch up service (we’re weeks behind but that only means we get to have a real binge one weekend)
- Check train times online before we all pile out of the house and up to London on a big adventure
- Look up car routes on Google Maps before we all pile into the car to head somewhere fun like Peppa Pig World or Godstone Farm.
- Do a sneaky bit of online shopping when Boden send through another amazing discount offer.
- Give the 3G on our iPhones a rest (I use up all of my phone data twice over each month, as it is, I dread to think how much I’d use if I wasn’t hooking onto our broadband, when at home.)
- Order our Domino’s pizza without even having to speak to another human (often the last thing we feel life doing after a hard day at work)
- Use the iPad to distract a certain someone during meal times. Yes, not great parenting, but hey.
- Save time by ordering our Tesco groceries online – time we can spend doing something fun as a family.
- Use the CBeebies website to play games (“Mummy, I want to play the caterpillar game” the little one chimes, every time she sees our laptop.)
- Follow Twitter whilst watching ‘event TV’ like The X Factor, Gogglebox or Strictly Come Dancing.
If we didn’t have broadband, I’m sure we’d survive. We’d find ways around all of these things – after all, my parents managed fine bringing up a family without the internet. But it just makes life so much easier, doesn’t it?
What do you think? Do we rely on technology – and broadband internet – too much these days? Or should we just be thankful we have fast access to all of this stuff now?
This post was written in association with Virgin Media