Howard posted a link to this article about how a panel of teens said they can't live without the internet and mobile devices.
"One kid, the most outspoken and rebellious of the bunch, said he had lost two phones in the last month — one left on the top of his car, and the second broken when he leaned on it while playing pool. Of course, later, when asked what piece of technology he couldn’t live without, he said he would die if he lost his cell phone."
I often think about the perception my daughters have of what computers and the internet are all about. To them, it's like TV, I guess...something that's always been a part of life and someday they are going to learn more about. They can't imagine life without it. But I have to laugh about a kid saying he'd die without his cell. True, if he was lost in the wild and had no phone, yeah, he might die. But frankly, I don't think I've ever said that about any piece of technology I own (no, not even the TiVo). Yes, there are many things I could not do without computers or the internet, but then again there are many things I DON'T DO BECAUSE OF the internet. Like read books. Like go outside more. Like clean the bathroom more often. Like play with my kids more.
Last winter, we had a power failure (very rare in our neighborhood) right at dinner time. My wife was not home at the time, so the kids and I went into campout mode. We dug out every Shabbat candle and votive we could find, ate a lukewarm dinner, and set up a campsite in the master bedroom. We told stories, talked about past power failures and past campouts before they were born, and had a great old time despite the fact that the room was dropping to a brisk temperature rapidly. The kids often ask me when we can do that again.
I'm thinking of shutting the power off to the whole house once a month.