How Much in Touch Would You Want to Be?

I had the baby! And now I’m back.  So here’s  the question that got me blogging today: Would you, if you could, wear a device – like a bracelet or necklace – for each child or loved one that showed his or her heartbeat (they would be wearing sensors, of course)? So that you would know at all times that the individual in question was alive? (So you didn’t forget them in the car, or worry about the schoolbus going over the creaky bridge…)

The idea popped into my head today as my daughter went off to daycare, leaving me at home with my four-week-old infant –  I was thinking of working mothers –  the separation anxiety we often feel when leaving our kids to go to  work. But really, if such a thing existed, anyone could make use of it. And maybe some people would find it comforting. But others might find it crazy-making, evidence of total anxiety… What do you think?
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4 Responses to How Much in Touch Would You Want to Be?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Yay! You’re back! =) Now on to the comments…

    I’m more on the side that this would produce anxiety. You know, sometimes we just have to LET GO. I think it’s healthy not to be informed of every bit of information at every moment. Yes, terrible thing happen. Awful things. But they just do. And what would you do if all of a sudden that little sensor stopped beating but you DIDN’T KNOW WHY? You are in a panic, freaking out… oops, turns out the battery just died! Everyone is alive! Yeesh.

    Or what if the sensor stopped beating and it WAS because the person was no longer alive? Could you change the outcome? It’s over… we cannot change what has happened. (Unless you are Superman and can fly really really really fast and turn the world back in time, I do not have that power. Currently, anyway.)

    I feel like I need to trust life and it’s going to steer me in the right direction. I may not like some of the turns but that’s okay. Maybe I’m not supposed to know everything right away.

  2. Maiaoming says:

    I completely agree with all your points – except I do have those moments when cell phones aren’t working and I am hoping that there wasn’t a car crash… I feel like cell phones are kind of like this, actually. We end up knowing more than we really should about what and where everyone else is… But you’re so right…

  3. ChrEliz says:

    I have those fears a few times a month, when my husband says he’ll be leaving work at 6, but it’s 6:45 and he’s not home yet. He commutes 5 miles each way to work and back every day, on a busy, fast, horrible road, and I’m scared when I don’t see him here on time. He’s a punctual guy.

    So I understand the motivation.

    But I’m with Elizabeth – I would rather not have that technology available to me.

    When my online friends from my “pregnant after recurrent miscarriage” board (online forum) were all buying and renting “babybeat” monitors so they could listen to their babies’ heartbeats any time they wanted to, I opted out. I borrowed one once, for a week, and used it twice, but I really felt like I needed to stop being so crazy and anxious, and just needed to let go and trust and stop trying to have a sense of control. We can’t control stuff. So having the info, when it doesn’t really do us any good, just makes us feel like hypervigilence is a good thing. And I think it’s really not.

    Same with those video monitors. (Sorry to anyone who has one, I’m sure they’re fun and I mean no offense, just that I personally would have been obsessive about watching them, if I had had one.) I really just wanted to let my kids have some true time to themselves, without being watched, when they were in their own rooms. Even as babies. And I think it was good for me to have the space, psychically, and spiritually, and mentally.

    Now, I *am* thinking about getting a GPS watch for my 2 and 4 year olds so we can feel less scared to go to events where there are crowds. Thinking, if someone does attempt to abduct them, we can hunt his ass down and go all vigilante on him. I’m sort of kidding, sort of serious.

    Ah, parenthood. It’s ALL crazymaking, really.

    I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE BLOGGING AGAIN, Maiaoming!

  4. E says:

    I like the idea, but I don’t know that I would actually buy one. My concern would be that I would forget to look at the monitor after awhile. Like my watch – if I wear one, after a couple hours I first forget to refer to it for the time, then I eventually just forget I even have it on. I’d be more likely to buy some sort of tracking device to either put on my child or have implanted in some way (kind of kidding, kind of not). I think we’ll definitely see devices of all these varieties in the near future (some are already available) – especially as the elderly population skyrockets with the baby-boomer generation. Babies & old people…gotta keep track of ’em somehow!!

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