Letting Technology Help Care for Loved Ones: Is It Selfish?
No, it’s not.
Calvin’s step-mom and I love taking care of Calvin and that responsibility is incredibly fulfilling. Calvin is unable to take care of himself and we’re entrusted with the power to give him a happy and enjoyable life. He would starve to death no one fixed him lunch. His teeth would fall out and his skin would fester if no one prompted him to use hygiene. It’s an awesome and scary responsibility, but one that we great enjoy.
Relationships don’t feed themselves.
At the same time, my wife and I must constantly maintain our marriage. That takes time, energy, patience and determination. We have four other children who demand the same level of love and care as Calvin.
Technology isn’t personal or impersonal. People are.
If I give my daughters or the boys a phone with a GPS, does that mean that I am letting their phone manage where they are? Of course not. It’s simply a tool to help me in case of emergency.
If my wife uses Alexa to announce that dinner is ready, does that mean she doesn’t want to personally go to each room in the house and talk to them face-to-face? Not at all. She wants to focus on getting dinner on the table for them.
If I use Alexa to tell Calvin to take his medicine, does that mean I don’t care to personally remind him? No, my wife and I are enjoying a quiet evening upstairs spending time together. And Calvin is learning to live independently.
Do I want myself to have a great relationship with my wife? Absolutely. Does my wife want herself to have a great relationship with me? Damn straight. Do our kids want themselves to have an awesome relationship with us? You know the answer.
So, is using technology to assist with special needs care selfish? Yes. But that’s a good thing.