What #Tech Matters to You? Do #SocialMedia and #Technology Define Your Life?

Category: Weekly Columns


We all choose to employ technology in different ways in our lives. I am very curious how YOU and YOUR KIDS use technology. Do they text or speak with their friends? Do you still have a landline at home? When is the last time you upgraded your main television and/or do you have a home theatre with Dolby and Surround Sound? Do you even have a smart phone? When did you last upgrade your computer?

I use Twitter and Facebook regularly. I use my iPhone to check email, text, take videos, and photos. I just began using Instagram as well. I participate in several Tweet Chats per week and host my own #DadChat on Thursdays. My new iPad goes largely unused as I prefer my MacBook Pro.

As for mass consumption, I still go to the movies (don’t care much for 3D, btw), and watch television on a decent home theatre system with Internet access to Netflix online movies. We have a landline telephone, which I rarely use and hate to answer, much to my wife’s chagrin.

I actually care about the sound on our television system, having spent more on the speakers than the television. My boys could care less about video quality or sound, as they are just fine watching things on their own iPhones or computers. Other than YouTube, I won’t watch anything on my phone or computer. To me, coming from a showbiz background, I really care about sound and video quality and watching a movie on a tiny screen just isn’t in my DNA.

So, herewith some questions to ask and think about:

~~ Would you EVER wait in line at the Apple Store for the newest iPhone, iPod, iPad, or iPot?

~~ Do you HAVE to have the latest tech innovation?

~~ Must you get the best and fastest computer?

~~ When a new system comes out – e.g. DVDs from VHS – do you immediately buy the hardware and spend 2-3 times what it will cost a year later?

~~ How often do you upgrade things? Get a new car?

~~ Do you have a Home Theatre? Must you have to get the highest resolution TV?

~~ HOW many tech devices do you have?

~~ Are you or your kids a gamer that also HAS to have that hot new game?

~~ In music, do you pre-buy your favorite singer or band’s next album? Do you buy ANY music anymore?

~~ Do you EVER take a whole day off and unplug?

Where in your life do you feel things are better due to technology? Do you have more free time – as promised – by your allegiance to a computer? Is there anything – really – that you can’t live without?

What have I missed?

Here are some related columns of mine:

Mom Bloggers vs Dad BloggersHow to Write Your #Twitter Bio aka What YOUR Twitter Bio RevealsWhat Are Your Social Media Tools?Find the Balance in Your #SocialMedia LifeSocial Media Rants and Ramblings #1 aka #Vegan #Friends and #MoneyIs #SocialMedia Your Social #Life?#Social Media IS the New BillboardHow to Make Money In Social MediaSeven Days Without My iPhone

  • TheRealMattDaddy

    I think it is important for every family to have tech limits – i.e. no tech at meal time, unplugged hours, limits on gaming time, etc.  It keeps people grounded and helps them clearly define what a human relationship really is. 

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      I couldn’t agree more, Matt!

  • http://fatherhoodfactor.com/ Keagan Pearson

    I am definitely fond of technology…but it is nearly impossible for me to stay on top of the development curve with the sheer volume of innovation today.

    My family is wired…two iPads…two iPhones…two laptops and one desktop (of which one laptop is the late 2011 Macbook Pro that built to the hilt), a Wii, smart T.V. (and an older, larger one in the living room with decent quality surround sound), and the new Dish Hopper home networked satellite system. All of which is connected via wifi to the latest Cisco modem and wireless router…and it’s all powered by an Internet speed that’s blazing fast.

    I say all that to mention that besides the t.v.’s, the Wii, the Hopper, and the surround sound, all of the other gadgets were purchased as an investment by a company that I am doing work for. This means that without them footing the bill for the technology upgrades I probably wouldn’t have this much quality gear.

    I use it for work, to interact on SM, to write, and sometimes to waste time…

    The key for me is to monitor screen time for the whole family. It requires moderation…because without parameters technology would not only define my life…it would rule it!

    Great thoughts Bruce!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Screen Time is a KEY thing for parents to be aware of with their kids. For that matter, we too can over-do it. Thx for stopping by Keagan…appreciate your thoughts!

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Yes, I love technology and have lots of gadgets and a home theater with surround sound. I have read books and watched movies on my iPhone. Whatever is handy is what I use.

    I also unplug at times and am fine. My daughter is away at camp and has confessed that life is less stressful without Facebook.

    My laptop is groaning under the weight of being 2 1/2 years old, purchased before I realized I would be writing a technology blog. When Windows 8 comes out I will be upgrading.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Yes, the TECH GAL herself is here! TY Carolyn! I would suggest throwing out the PC and going Mac – it will change everything for the better. I did so about the time you got your last computer and have NEVER looked back!

      • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

        We have a Mac and a PC at home, but I prefer a PC. My daughter thinks I’m nuts, she wants her own Mac, but it’s very expensive and we’re making her earn it.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          How could you possibly prefer your PC? Do you ever really use your Mac? Making your daughter earn hers is WISE.

          • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

            Lol, Wise used to be my middle name before I married.

            I feel I have the best of both worlds, using both a PC and a Mac. But I learned on a PC way back when so I’m more fluent in PC than Mac. I also find more software available on PC’s than Macs.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Many PC users say the same thing. Obviously, it’s personal choice, but I sure am happy leaving all the PC/Windows problems behind me. You can actually get help and talk to people at Apple!

          • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

            Yes, I know I’m unoriginal. But at least PC users have come a long way from the Blue Screen of Death!

  • http://stay-at-homedadblunders.tumblr.com/ dadblunders

    Technology is the future. We have a i-pad, kindle fire, X-Box 360, DS, android phones etc. I try to pay attention to the current technologies and where they are going. I know that things are not static and they will change rapidly. As a parent, i have a choice to either learn or have my children learn. If I choose to let my children learn and not myself they could easily be doing things I might not approve of.

    I generally don’t rush out to buy a new item. There have been an occasional exception to the rule. I can add I don’t like waiting in lines as it is so I probably always miss the lines the lines at Apple stores for product premiers.


    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Aaron, you are doing it EXACTLY right and you clearly understand that our role as parent THESE DAYS includes knowing most of the tech that our kids use!

      • http://stay-at-homedadblunders.tumblr.com/ dadblunders

         Just a note Bruce it’s alright if you call me DB, like you have been. I just have been adding my first name to my messages after hearing/listening/reading what you had to say about the importance of authenticity and trust in names on twitter.


        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          I prefer calling you Aaron, now that I know your name…besides, my second son’s name is Aaron so I already like it A LOT!

  • http://twitter.com/CrossBetsy Betsy Cross

    I’m probably the most boring commenter you’ll get when it comes to tech! 
    Some friends came to visit us a while back for the first time and the wife shared how humbled her husband was when he sat in our living room and saw the 10″ tv on top of the chinese red dresser (I was so proud of my paint job!).
    I’ve only been online for 2 years (regularly). I refuse to own a cellphone. I need an IPad for work, but don’t have one, yet. We’ve never bought our kids phones or electronics. They are tech savy though. Just never wanted to go down that road. Believe it or not, their friends routinely pass on their outdated devices for free to them! My motto is if they want them they can get a job and buy them themselves (along with a cellphone plan).
    All of that said, it’s as easy to get addicted to technology on small and inadequate as it is on state-of-the-art! I would never put money into electronics unless it was for business.
    I miss the days before we all had computers. They are a huge blessing, but at the same time make it so hard to consciously choose to unplug. Me? I’d much rather have a face-to-face or phone conversation! 

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Speaking of all this, I missed YOU at #DadChat this past week, Betsy! With so many kids, you probably made the most practical choice vis-a-vis tech. How ironic that they got so many hand-me-downs from their friends! 

      I still do NOT know or have a strong opinion if we are better off with all our tech these days. I could easily make an argument for or against!…

  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    All four Vickerys have a smart phone, and we do not have a landline. I have iPhone, and the other three have Android (because their carrier doesn’t offer iPhones, and my business covers my phone). I had the original iPad, and I bumped up to the iPad3 to get the higher quality camera/video resolution for vlogs. I would never stand in line for technology.

    We have two HDTVs and one standard. Ironically, we still watch more on the standard TV since it is on the main floor. We never watch TV other than sports and Netflix. We own lots of CDs, and have the music on our devices, yet I still listen to Pandora primarily (and SiriusXM in the car).

    We pay-off our cars early, and we drive the wheels off. Yes, both daughters have their own car…and yes, I already paid off one, am paying off the other one, and cover both of their insurance. What a great Daddy ;). The oldest works, the youngest had too many activities like mission trips and college campus visits to get a decent summer job, and we always said their grades were their #1 job at this point in their lives. They will have ample time to be part of the workforce and its associated stresses.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      You’re a good man, Brian Vickery! I’m still gonna beat you at tennis! Lol…off to golf with my wife now in our 100+ heat…not sure we’ll last long!

      • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

        Enjoy the golf game – Kris and I played mixed doubles together for the first time in forever. We won pretty easily…the girl has come a long way since she became coachable this year 😉

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          Kris is your wife, right? And you coach her…wow, you DO have a great relationship!

          • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

            Been coaching her for years. This year, she really wanted to work on her game. She now has a winning record at the 4.0 level, and she is playing very well.

            I’m also trying to coach Savannah (my youngest) a little bit. Now that she has had other coaches, she listens pretty well to me…she’s used to it since I also coached her recreational soccer teams, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/theMomiverse Charmin Calamaris

    I was the last person I know to get a DVD player (only a couple years ago) and just switched from a Blackberry to an Android last summer. However, having said that, being a busy mom (is there any other kind?) of 2 little boys and running a business that requires lots of social media, I need & have grown to love technology and all the convenience it provides.

    I also love how video games provide our family with another activity (family competition nights) when it’s too hot to go out for a hike or bike ride (we live in AZ).

    I do feel it’s important to unplug, because it’s just so easy to let work get in the way of being present with my family. I do limit the amount of time my own boys can play video games, so I feel it’s only fair for me to do the same. I definitely take a few days each month to disconnect.

    And much to my husband’s chagrin, my Christmas list will include much more pricey tech items from now on!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Charmin, a parenting suggestion. Require NO LESS than equal time outside or non tech play for time on “screens!”

      • http://twitter.com/theMomiverse Charmin Calamaris

         Bruce, I LOVE that suggestion! I guess I never really looked at it that way, but it allows my boys to know what they need to do in order to have screen time as well.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          I’m glad! I hope we’ll see you at #DadChat Thursday, CC: http://www.brucesallan.com/2012/07/10/tattoo-contest-dadchat/

  • http://twitter.com/BarryBirkett Barry Birkett

    I thought I was into tech until I read your list and now feel MUCH better. Maybe I don’t unplug but tech doesn’t drive that as much as feed it.  Could just be me, though.

    I think it would be fun to have the latest tech all the time, but just don’t see enough value in it to part with the money – – not to mention the time for all the conversion time that seems to happen.  That being said, some poor souls THINK I am on the cutting edge so I guess it’s all relative.

    Oh, when I do want the new iPhone or whatever, I don’t wait in line to buy it but I have been known to jump online as soon as it’s available to buy it.  Somehow the day or two I wait to get it is better than waiting in line.  Besides, I think I used up my quota of waiting in line to be first on concert tickets before that went online too.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Waiting in line to buy a concert ticket? Wow, BB, you really are oooollllddddd!

  • http://www.freelancewriter.co/ Harleena Singh

    I prefer staying away from tech stuff – the farther the better 🙂

    Well, I hardly use my cell phone nor do I watch television except over the weekends perhaps – so it’s just the laptop that works best for me. Having read so much about the radiation tech things actually cause, I prefer leading a simpler life, and I really don’t miss any of these things at all 🙂

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      I believe you are probably the better for it, too Harleena!

  • http://twitter.com/MelissaOnline Melissa Stewart

    I have a smart phone, but it’s not the smartest. I have a LCD TV but it’s not HD. I have a blu-ray player. A laptop. A Twitter addiction. I’m “into” technology but not ruled by it. I love a lot of it and loathe some of it. Now, that said, my teenagers text and IM me from the other room and the only way I can reach my youngest (teenager) is via text. I miss the old days when we just yelled at each other across the house 🙂

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Classic, “I miss the old days when we just yelled at each other across the house!” Me too, Melissa!

  • http://thisBEAST.com/ netster

    I love beautiful and creative technology. I spend my money on 7.1 sounds system with awesome speakers, standalone sounds decoder, I build my own PC so I spend on new PC display card, Mother Board, RAM and latest processor, I spend on LCDs, TV hardware card to support Windows Media and many more accessories that goes with it.

    I stop all the above 3 years ago. most of the things I bought above, are either broken or I didnt use them any more.

    3 years ago I bought my first laptop, Apple MacBook and it change my tech world.

    I have been using my MacBook ever since. It was pretty and it was gorgeous. I’m not building any more PC, I just love my MacBook and the consequences, I save more money than I ever did.

    I switch from Blackberry to iPhone last year, and I love it.

    I use my 2.1 speaker for the pass 8 years, and Jan this year, I invest a unit of Media player and a 40″ FullHD Samsung LCD — after 3 years, I guess thats reasonable.

    I think that’s it. 🙂

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Sounds like you are constantly evolving…and getting BETTER! THAT is what we are supposed to do!