Tech-ed off: More technology, less technology

During my book club gathering (on Zoom) one of my friends said she was becoming a little “tech-ed off.”

The need to hold a book club electronically does test the patience. Sure, it’s fine to discuss the book via the internet, but, let’s be honest, the real heart and soul of a book club is the shared glasses of wine, the tea, the dessert, and the lingering conversations that have nothing at all to do with literature. Being deprived of that connection has me a little tech-ed off too.

At the same time, I am so-o-o-o-o-o grateful for technology in other ways. I have spent more time on my laptop over the past six weeks than ever.

Even though the electronic book club was not as satisfying, it was better than no book club at all. I’ve participated in writing circles, dinners, coffee times, meetings, and church. Seeing a friend’s face pop up on a video screen is not as much fun as an in-person visit, but it’s . . . enough. The whole experience certainly has clarified who the people are that I really want to see.

I’ve also done more activities not related to technology than ever. There are six of us here, ranging in age from 22 to 64.

We have done:

  • paint night
  • blind coffee taste test (McDonald’s overall winner. Really.)
  • blind beer taste test (Molson Canadian overall winner. Really.)
  • giant crossword puzzle
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • learn-to-draw night
  • card games
  • board games (Scattergories, Scrabble, Cranium)
  • baking (desserts, bagels, baguette, bread, sourdough starter, pizza dough)
  • walking and biking
  • cleaning and organizing

In some ways this experience has a “time at the cottage” feel. We’re doing a lot of the same things we would when technology isn’t an option.

Except for when we’re using technology more than ever.

14 thoughts on “Tech-ed off: More technology, less technology

  1. marianbeaman

    Very creative, Arlene, I’m impressed!

    I meet my friends via Zoom: Pilates, writers’ group, church pre-school teachers. The Pilates group is my favorite though I’m grateful for the other connections. Last Monday, I read a short story in my writers’ group and because it was long-ish, there were no comments. The moderator (understandably?) thought it was time to move on to others. I felt a little teched-off, the perfect word. Next time, a haiku!

    Just this morning I was invited to a gathering of old friends at an outdoor pavilion where we will observe “social distancing.” It’ll be a breath of fresh air. 🙂

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I imagine that a meeting with a group of pre-school teachers would be a laugh. Such creative people! And pilates is a great idea. I forgot to mention that I’ve been doing yoga via Zoom too. I can understand how you could be a little tech-ed off – it’s hard to manage the timing of all these things. It’s just not the same as in person.

  2. Jennifer Grant

    I’m doing something today that I am quite excited about. This morning I am hanging my clothes outside on the clothes line for the first time this year. It is a real experience without the benefit of technology. The clothes smell good coming out of the washing machine and even better coming off the line. Yes, yes, another example of how small our world has become and how desperate we are for novelty but hanging clothes on the line is one of my favourite domestic activities and this year it feels a little bit like freedom. Can’t wait to see them dancing in the breeze!

    1. Janet Givens

      I’m so eager to do that too. However. I’m waiting g for the last of our north side snow pack to melt so we can access the area where we hang an end. “God grant me patience and grant it to me now.”

      1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

        Snow! Goodness. The only signs of snow here are the remnants of Zamboni scrapings behind our (now closed) ice arenas. We have been blessed with sunny, perfect days for outside drying. May they find their way to you soon too.

  3. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

    Ha! That’s fantastic. Thanks. It’s a perfect laundry day. One of my favourite things is crawling into sheets that have been dried on the line. So crisp and fresh with the irreplaceable “dried on the line” smell.

  4. Ally Bean

    You’ve achieved a good balance between tech and cottage life. That seems rational to me. Too much of anything is tedious. I like Molson so I think your beer tasting results ring true. And I like the giant crossword puzzle. That looks like fun. As for a bookclub without feeling like a real book club, at least you tried. Live and learn.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Oh yes. The Zoom dinner was fun. We arranged to make the same food at the same time, so we were “sharing” the same meal. I placed the laptop on the dining room table where they would be sitting if they were in my house. I got so caught up in the experience – I left the room to get something out of the kitchen and when I returned I almost did a double take at the sight of the laptop screen. I almost expected the real people to be there. Zoom coffee times and book clubs are good too.

  5. Sheryl

    Using technology for gatherings isn’t as satisfying as in-person events, but you and your friends are much more creative when coming up with fun ideas for zoom gatherings than mine. 🙂


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