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[双语阅读] 早饭可以等,上网不能等

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发表于 2010-2-26 23:42 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

Karl and Dorsey Gude of East Lansing, Mich., can remember simpler mornings, not too long ago. They sat together and chatted as they ate breakfast. They read the newspaper and competed only with the television for the attention of their two teenage sons.

That was so last century. Today, Mr. Gude wakes at around 6 a.m. to check his work e-mail and his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The two boys, Cole and Erik, start each morning with text messages, video games and Facebook.

The new routine quickly became a source of conflict in the family, with Ms. Gude complaining that technology was eating into family time. But ultimately even she partially succumbed, cracking open her laptop after breakfast.

“Things that I thought were unacceptable a few years ago are now commonplace in my house,” she said, “like all four of us starting the day on four computers in four separate rooms.”

Technology has shaken up plenty of life’s routines, but for many people it has completely altered the once predictable rituals at the start of the day.

This is morning in America in the Internet age. After six to eight hours of network deprivation — also known as sleep — people are increasingly waking up and lunging for cellphones and laptops, sometimes even before swinging their legs to the floor and tending to more biologically urgent activities.

“It used to be you woke up, went to the bathroom, maybe brushed your teeth and picked up the newspaper,” said Naomi S. Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University, who has written about technology’s push into everyday life. “But what we do first now has changed dramatically. I’ll be the first to admit: the first thing I do is check my e-mail.”

The Gudes’ sons sleep with their phones next to their beds, so they start the day with text messages in place of alarm clocks. Mr. Gude, an instructor at Michigan State University, sends texts to his two sons to wake up.

“We use texting as an in-house intercom,” he said. “I could just walk upstairs, but they always answer their texts.” The Gudes recently began shutting their devices down on weekends to account for the decrease in family time.

In other households, the impulse to go online before getting out the door adds an extra layer of chaos to the already discombobulating morning scramble.

Weekday mornings have long been frenetic, disjointed affairs. Now families that used to fight over the shower or the newspaper tussle over access to the lone household computer — or about whether they should be using gadgets at all, instead of communicating with one another.

“They used to have blankies; now they have phones, which even have their own umbilical cord right to the charger,” said Liz Perle, a mother in San Francisco who laments the early-morning technology immersion of her two teenage children. “If their beds were far from the power outlets, they would probably sleep on the floor.”

The surge of early risers is reflected in online and wireless traffic patterns. Internet companies that used to watch traffic levels rise only when people booted up at work now see the uptick much earlier.

Arbor Networks, a Boston company that analyzes Internet use, says that Web traffic in the United States gradually declines from midnight to around 6 a.m. on the East Coast and then gets a huge morning caffeine jolt. “It’s a rocket ship that takes off at 7 a.m,” said Craig Labovitz, Arbor’s chief scientist.

Akamai, which helps sites like Facebook and Amazon keep up with visitor demand, says traffic takes off even earlier, at around 6 a.m. on the East Coast. Verizon Wireless reported the number of text messages sent between 7 and 10 a.m. jumped by 50 percent in July, compared with a year earlier.

Both adults and children have good reasons to wake up and log on. Mom and Dad might need to catch up on e-mail from colleagues in different time zones. Children check text messages and Facebook posts from friends with different bedtimes — and sometime forget their chores in the process.

In May, Gabrielle Glaser of Montclair, N.J., bought her 14-year-old daughter, Moriah, an Apple laptop for her birthday. In the weeks after, Moriah missed the school bus three times and went from walking the family Labradoodle for 20 minutes each morning to only briefly letting the dog outside.

Moriah concedes that she neglected the bus and dog, and blames Facebook, where the possibility that crucial updates from friends might be waiting draws her online as soon as she wakes. “I have some friends that are up early and chatting,” she said. “There is definitely a pull to check it.”

Some families have tried to set limits on Internet use in the mornings. James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that deals with children and entertainment, wakes every morning at 6 and spends the next hour on his BlackBerry, managing e-mail from contacts in different parts of the world.

But when he meets his wife, Liz, and their four children, ages 5 to 16, at the breakfast table, no laptops or phones are allowed.

Mr. Steyer says he and his sons feel the temptation of technology early. Kirk, 14, often runs through much of his daily one-hour allotment of video-game time in the morning.

Even Jesse, 5, has started asking each morning if he can play games on his father’s iPhone. And Mr. Steyer said he constantly feels the tug of waiting messages on his BlackBerry, even during morning hours that are reserved for family time.

“You have to resist the impulse. You have to switch from work mode to parenting mode,” Mr. Steyer said. “But meeting my own standard is tough.”





 

居住在美国密歇根州蓝辛市东部的卡尔和多西·古德夫妇还记得不久之前简单的早饭时间。一家人围坐在一起,边吃早饭边聊天。他们读报纸,收回他们两个儿子集中在电视上的注意力。

但这种情形仿佛已经是在很久以前了。现在古德早上6点左右起床,查看他的工作邮件,Facebook 和Twitter账户。两个儿子科尔和埃里克,每天早上第一件事就是发短信,玩视频游戏,登录Facebook。

新的生活方式很快成为家庭矛盾的导火索,古德夫人抱怨科技正在侵占他们的家庭时间。但是最终甚至连她自己也这样做了,早饭后就啪的打开电脑。“前些年觉得无法接受的事情如今在我家也成了稀松平常的了”,她说,“比如每天都是从我们四个人在各自房间里上网开始。”

科技已经使许多家庭的生活方式发生了变化。但是对于许多人来说,它完全改变了以往每天开始要做的事情。

这是网络时代美国的清晨。经过6-8小时的网络被剥夺,也可以说睡眠后,人们陆陆续续地醒来,醒来之后就打开手机和电脑,有时甚至还没下床,没解决内急。

“过去的情况是起床后去洗个澡,可能再刷刷牙,然后看看报纸上的新闻,”美国大学语言学教授内奥米·巴伦说。她写了关于科技融入了日常生活的文章。“但是现在起床后我们最先做的事发生了戏剧性的改变。我会首先承认我起床后的第一件事是查看邮件。”

古德的两个儿子睡觉的时候都把手机放在床边,这样他们每天都会被短信叫醒,短信取代了闹钟。古德是密歇根州立大学的讲师,每天早上给他的两个儿子发短信叫他们起床。

“我们把短信当成了电话内线,”他说,“我可以上楼去叫他们起床,但是他们总是回复短信。”近来古德开始在周末关掉手机和电脑来节省减少的家庭时间。

在其他家庭中,未踏出家门就想上网的冲动给本来就已经混乱的清晨时间又增加了一层混乱。

平常早上就已经够乱的了。现在的家庭从最初为争夺浴室和报纸大战升级为争夺家里唯一的电脑,或者是有关是否他们应该摆弄那些小玩意而不是和家人聊天。

“过去没有这些,现在他们有了手机,甚至有与生俱来的权利”莉兹是孩子的母亲,住在旧金山,她整天为科技侵占了两个孩子早上的时间而叹气。“如果他们的床离电源很远,他们很可能会睡到地板上。”

人们早起的高峰期体现在上网和无线上网流量上。以前网络公司监测到的高峰期是在上班后,现在看来时间早了很多。

Arbor Networks是波士顿一家分析网络使用的公司。这家公司说在美国东部时间半夜到6点钟左右网络流量逐渐降低,然后在早上网络流量有一个巨大的起伏“从早上7点开始急速上升。”Arbor公司首席科学家克雷格·莱伯维茨说。

帮助像Facebook和Amazon这样的网站满足网络访问者需求的Akamai公司说,网络流量提高的时间更早了,大约在东部时间早上6点。Verizon Wireless公司报告中说今年7月份上午7点到10点发送的短信数量与去年相比上升了50%。

大人和孩子都有充分的理由早起上网。家长可能需要接收来自不同时区同事的邮件。孩子可能要查收来自不同作息时间的朋友的短信和Facebook邮件-甚至有些时候在这个过程中他们忘了自己本该做的事。

新泽西州蒙特克莱尔市的瑞尔·格拉泽在女儿玛利亚14岁生日时为她买了一台苹果笔记本电脑作为生日礼物。在之后的几个周,玛利亚三次错过了校车,以前每天早上带着家里的拉布拉多犬溜弯20分钟,而现在只是让狗待在外面。

玛利亚承认她忽略了校车和狗,并且把这归咎于Facebook,在那上面朋友们可能有重要的新信息,因此她需要起床后就在线。“我有些朋友很早起来聊天,”她说,“有一种力量推动着我去查看。”

有些家庭尝试限制清晨上网。Common Sense Media公司是美国一个非赢利性组织,涉及儿童和娱乐。其创始人詹姆士·施泰尔每天早上6点起床,然后一天余下的时间都用在黑草莓上,管理来自世界各地联系人的邮件。

但是在和妻子丽兹及四个孩子(年龄5岁到16岁不等)一起吃早饭的时候,不允许使用笔记本电脑和电话。

施泰尔说他和孩子们早就感觉到科技的诱惑了。14岁的科克早上经常要花一个小时的时间玩网络游戏。

甚至是才5岁的杰西开始每天早上问他是否可以用父亲的苹果手机玩游戏。施泰尔说他总是感到等黑草莓上的信息很费神,甚至在留给家人的清晨时间。

“你必须忍住想去看看的冲动。你不得不从工作的模式转到为人父母的模式,”施泰尔说,“但是符合我自己的标准很难做到。”


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