Technology. We all have it. We all use it. Some of us more than others. I’ve recently taken an inventory of all of the gadgets that we own and have come up with the following list:

1 desktop computer, 2 laptops (1 functioning, 1 going to laptop heaven), iPad, 4 iPods and 1 iPod touch soon to be added, the Wii, Playstation 3, PSP, Nintendo DS, 3 mobile phones, 3 iPod docks, 1 TV and DVD player.

I used to be proud, back in the day, that we only had 1 TV and DVD player. Once in a while we would put a movie in and watch. That was the extent of the technology in our home. Now, of course, things have changed…

I have to say I’m quite embarrassed at the huge list of technological gadgets that we own. I’m concerned about the impact this is going to have (or already has had) on our children. Our oldest daughter is less and less inclined to pick up a book and read like she used to.

Our 18-month old knows if she touches the screen on the iPad it does something. She knows where the button is to turn it on, and what I find most disturbing is she knows if she slides the arrow on the screen, it unlocks it.

And, when I say to her in Spanish “vamos a llamar la abuela” (we’re going to call grandma) she walks into the dining room, where the computer is, and sits on the chair (we call her from our computer using Skype). Isn’t this all a bit too much?

My husband is the “tech geek” in our family and is constantly introducing new gadgets into our home. He recently purchased a new phone and was playing with it last night. He proudly showed me that if he could scan any book in the room using his new phone, it would show the cheapest place on the web to purchase it. Unimpressed, I shrugged my shoulders and opened up my book.

For me, it’s an ongoing battle. My family is consumed in a world ruled by technology where they are being taught that instant gratification is the norm. I’m on the other side, fighting and struggling to pull them away.

I try to lead by example; I turn off the TV and read a book. I turn my phone off in the evenings so as not to be disturbed by text messages and emails. I instituted “unplugged time” during the weekend and my 11 year-old cleverly reminded me that “ipads and iPods aren’t plugged in.”

What else can I do? Am I old-fashioned because I don’t want to read my novel on a kindle, but from a paperback book that I can proudly put on a bookshelf when completed?

I believe in keeping up with the times, but I also believe in creating a healthy balance. It’s achieving this healthy balance that will be my biggest challenge as a mother in the years to come.

What about you?  What are your thoughts about kids and technology? And, do you think Jen is old-fashioned, as she asks?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jen Warren of England in the United Kingdom.  You can also find her on her blog at Children of Chorizo.

Photo credit to  This photo has a creative commons attribution license.