Rolling with Stone
Recharged and refueled
After a couple of busy weekends in February, last weekend wasn’t very eventful for me.
After traveling to Chapel Hill on Thursday for the North Carolina Press Association Editorial Awards ceremony and driving back early the next morning to work, I was exhausted. Saturday was spent sleeping, recovering and catching up on my work. But it was well worth the trip.
I’m so proud of our staff at The Mountaineer for placing first in general excellence and news coverage. I feel like those awards in particular truly show how much we care about our community and how dedicated we all are to covering all the issues. But the best part about being at that type of event is I get to see what other newspapers are doing and I remember why I went into this crazy business in the first place — to tell stories and to make a difference.
Hearing the guest speaker, veteran journalist Charlie Rose, talk about the importance of our profession makes all the hard days worth it. So now I’m back and ready to give 110 percent to what I love to do.
We have a lot of great things in this week's Guide, including the monthly Haywood's Next Generation pull out in the middle of the Guide. This once-a-month feature, put together by local mom and educator Susanna Barbee, is meant to be a tool for parents — covering a range of topics from education, parenting, raising children and most importantly, finding activities for your kids to do in Haywood County.
Since March 7-8 is declared National Day of Unplugging, Susanna and I came up with a very timely theme this month — technology. Are your kids using too much? At what age should you begin introducing technology? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a tech-savvy child?
These are all very interesting topics and questions that parents ask themselves on a daily basis. Read about how a local family deals with these technical dilemmas and also read Susanna's column about how technology has changed since we were kids.
Plug into life
I also encourage you to participate in National Day of Unplugging this coming weekend. Since my job so heavily depends on Internet and social media, I'm not sure I'll be able to escape these confines, but I will do my best.
Surely I can go without watching TV Friday night and pull out one of the books on my reading list instead. On Saturday morning I can resist picking up my phone right away to check the latest headlines and Facebook updates. I can drink my coffee while I read the actual newspaper instead of the e-editions and I can walk my dogs instead of just putting them in the backyard for a while.
It’s amazing how much we rely on technology today. It’s amazing I ever left my house without GPS or a cell phone, but I did once upon a time. And while technology has made things easier for us all, it’s also made us pretty lazy and dependent. Even with a world of knowledge at our fingertips, most of us only use Internet for Facebook and to watch cute kitty videos.
You can read Shelby’s column about her phone addiction on page 14. Even if you can’t give up technology for 24 measly hours, how about committing to better technology etiquette — don’t use your phone if you are at a restaurant or talking to someone. It’s rude. Remember not every moment in your life needs to be uploaded to Facebook.
Yes, I really wanted to snap a picture of Charlie Rose and put it on Facebook, but I stopped myself because it was more important to listen to his speech and remember his advice. His best advice — something he shows by example — is to ask the questions and get out of the way!