Overplugged is about our evolving relationship with technology. This column will discuss ways to balance our online and offline existence. Topics include info overload, tech addiction, multitasking, tech etiquette, critical thinking, etc. Flag as Inappropriate

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Counting Toes by Ida Waugh / Public Domain
Robert Williams October 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm
I'm not sure what the revelation is here. There has always been a disconnect between recommendationsRead More and reality: one only needs to look at smoking, drinking, over eating, sweets, etc.
Ted Glanzer (Editor) November 1, 2013 at 02:43 pm
This is from Patch user Sheila Groneman: "I just lost 2 posts commenting on this topic -Read More hopefully 3rd time's a charm! Babies are "hard-wired" for human interaction, and those neural connections will be lost if not used - screens, even if interactive, are not a substitute for real face-to-face interactions. Infants also learn about their world from exploring it with ALL their senses, gaining motor skills, learning object permanence, cause-and-effect and other valuable skills in the process. Real books offer many sensory experiences that a smartphone or iPad can't. I hope parents note this recommendation and discuss it with their pediatricians. There is also a nationwide program called Parents as Teachers which offers information on early childhood development. East Granby has a program, though Granby does not. For more information, visit http://www.connpat.org/Find_A_Program.php Disclaimer - my mother is the state leader for Connecticut Parents as Teachers."
macgeek February 3, 2014 at 06:26 pm
dont let your babies grow up to be liberals. lol I don't kids should have phones unless they areRead More working and can pay for it. babies sure don't need ipads
Painting by Edvard Munch; public domain in the United States
Andrew August 11, 2013 at 10:23 am
I am soooooo glad I was born well before the 1990's.
Michelle August 11, 2013 at 11:30 am
I watched a family at the beach this weekend. The two young kids were playing and actually seemingRead More to want their parent's attention. The entire time their mom had her head down and was texting. She was smiling and showing her husband posts. It was infuriating to watch because right before her life and memories were happening, but she instead was staring at her phone.
g August 11, 2013 at 01:38 pm
I'm an internet failure. I can't imagine using a social site as a replacement for friends or family.Read More :( For shopping, streaming media, or games, it's great. It amazes me how many think calling on a phone is as good as a visit. I prefer to visit with people in person. My poor cell phone is only used as a convenience when allowing family to communicate with me outside the home, when in my home, all family cell phones on a charger away from anyones ear. Internet isn't the only addiction, texting, and cell phone addition also exist. I have a friend who literally can't go 5 minutes without his cell phone ringing, he always gives priority to those calls, somehow they are more important.
Photo by joshme17; Creative Commons license through Flickr
Sanchez July 11, 2013 at 06:01 pm
That picture of that dog is amazing in its visual description of a dogs life. The angle and the lookRead More of that dog is great.
Lori Houser July 14, 2013 at 09:05 am
The authentic world is really turning to crap. Why are you surprised that people are trying to turnRead More away from it? We went to New London last night for fireworks. I will never bring my family again. Who wants to see a bunch of drunk drugged up people pissing on the ground, I don't want my kids seeing that crap. Family time yea right, very unsafe environment. But hey maybe we should have a conversation and ask them there drug of choice.
Photo by William Hook; Creative Commons license through Fotopedia
Craig Zac June 12, 2013 at 09:49 am
Im not convinced that the FBI or anyone elses for that matter can "Turn on your phonesRead More mic" and listen in on what you're up to but... they can use the Phones GPS or "Find my Phone" software to locate you...also, they can trace you when you use the phone by pinning down the towers used to transmit the calls. but remotely turning on the mic?? take that one with a grain, or a few, grains of salt. As for the "You have nothing to worry about if you aren't doing anything wrong" Theorists... lol remember that when your drivers license is suddenly revoked cause you speed too much and break other traffic laws, or when the cops show up with a warrant to search your home an hour after you went into "the hood" to buy a small bag of weed or there always just happens to be a cop waiting to pull you over after you spend a couple hours at the local pub... Extreme cases yes, but perfectly capable of happening if the Authorities want to keep tabs on you through your cell phone and its tracking software. Shut it off...now!
Craig Zac June 12, 2013 at 09:57 am
On new cars...if "On Star" can dial in and unlock your car doors, who's to say the fedsRead More cant Dial in and do whatever they want? activate some hidden tracking mode or eves dropping program in the cars on star system? THAT wouldn't surprise me at all.... satellite radios and GPS systems could easily have tracking hardware in them you wouldn't know about. Isn't that how all these stolen car recovery systems work? so yeah, you'd be better off either buying an older car (they are nicer anyways!) and not getting the factory GPS satellite radio or OnStar type options. if you want gps, go buy a TomTom or Garvin one...the less fancier, the better.
Lori Houser June 12, 2013 at 01:35 pm
Some fords I found out today already have black boxes on them. I found out alot of things on aRead More website I went to todayI find it so hard to believe that 57% of people polled approve of the government spying on them. If you can really believe anything you read on the news anymore. Also found out as of 2016 all cars have to have a black box for them to be on the road. I guess I will have to get that horse by then. Using the boxes will help the insurance companies prove cases in court, 5 miles over the limit and you get in a accident they got you.Craig I dont due drugs and I drink 2 times a year so I'm really not concerned with all that, but people are at war right now fighting for freedoms we already have lost and will never get back. Oh also found out the black boxes cannot be removed, it will cause the car to have electrical issues and can cause an accident which then you can get in trouble for because you tried to disassemble it in the first place. There is a website I found today to find the black box in your car. It told me exactly where each one was on all of my cars except my van, its to old doesn't have one. I checked out alot of different cars and most are under the front seats. So I dont think it matters much about the phone the man and the little black boxes already know where you are.