Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Technology vs. Me...

Porcupine in a Balloon Factory ©SJaye 2013


          As you no doubt know by now, I go nuts dealing with technology.  I also fail to see the benefit of having a huge television, yet having to own the latest phone where you can watch the exact same thing on a teensy-weensy screen.  I constantly misdial, mistype, or somehow get to some unintended person or screen, only to let rip a stream of obscenities you will not see here.

     In fact, it is quite common for my husband to walk into a room, only to hear me swearing at an inanimate object, that he doesn't bat an eye; he knows better than to laugh.

I often say, "for every thing that technology helps; is causes another 2 headaches."

     There have been many medical advances, as well as other types of progress, that without technology, would only be a dream.  I know that.  That is why I strive with the finesse of a porcupine in a balloon factory to learn and keep up with the latest kryptonite. 

     Writing this blog has been quite an adventure for a non-techie like me.  I have a Mac computer with a big ol' monitor that is larger than our family television.  Boggling I know, that we only have one tv. However it suits us.  I love my Mac, and since beginning to spend more time on it during the last year, I have begun to understand what all the hubbub is about.  Still, there are times that I still roll my eyes.

If you read my post, The Perks of Being Fired, you'll recognize this picture:

Yes, I modeled for this.


     While I know this contraption is used in many fields I am not a fan.  I understand fully the need for it if you are protecting the President or another of equal stature.  I also get it that it helps when communicating across a large area, such as a restaurant, sports arena, or stage.   However in these scenarios where it's not a matter of national security, I think it's important to realize the impression they give to what are generally paying guests, and humbly suggest to think long and hard about who really needs to be wired.

     There are public service announcements that are showing with more frequency, about the loss of a loved one due to texting while driving.  Pretty sure it's illegal now in most places.  Still, it's unnerving how many drivers a day I witness doing exactly that; not to mention how many who are obviously "on a call", while driving.  Either that, or there's a lot more talking to one's self going on these days.

Think about all the ways technology has affected us.

       I grew up in a time when one learned and read body language.  When conversing, looking someone in the eye was a sign of respect.  With people looking constantly at screens of one kind or another, looking someone in the eye today, makes people uncomfortable.  Last weekend, while dining with a friend at a nice local restaurant, the what I presume was the manager stopped by to check on us.  After the initial "good evening," his eyes scanned the room instead of meeting with either of ours, for the remainder of the query.  My friend had sent her entree back, and when he stopped we assumed it was due to that, but then he didn't mention it or ask about it.   My friend, (who's in sales) and I got a kick out of it.  I think we could have told him Martians had landed, and he would have given us the same slick, rehearsed spiel.
      Dating has changed as well.  Gone are the days of the "smolder" or "look of longing".  Now,  after finding each other through a site, be it Hot Singles, Match.com, or Christian Mingle, I would be surprised if the two individuals in question actually found time to have an actual conversation amid the "tweeting" about the possibilities of their date; who they googled extensively prior to the date to find out all pertinent info.

     On the matter of technology that's less obviously "wired"- remember the good ol' days when you decided when you were finished on the pottie?  In the attempt of saving water, most public places now have toilets that flush automatically ... still figuring out what the "cue" is.  Then you move on to washing your hands.  There are times I swear there must be a hidden camera complete with an audience laughing uproariously as I try to find one spigot that will bestow water onto my hands, as well as anticipate what direction the automatic soap dispenser will spurt.  Finally, drying your hands: the new dryers- you're might as well wipe your hands on a piece of clothing (I suggest your own); or if it is working, be sure to hold on to your hat.  Checking the mirror before you leave the restroom might be wise as well.
   
     Keeping this topical, where would some politicians be without technology?  On one hand, (naughty, naughty) without it they may have kept their fantasy lives "closer to the vest".   On the other hand, (I admit, I am smirking as I write this) since they are endowed with technology, it's not in the same realm in my opinion, as other polititians who've committed various acts (and what variety!) mano a mano, or au naturel; so to speak.

    Going forward, this old fashioned porcupine will try to walk the fine line/tight rope between being digitally literate, and overwired.  However there are some of the old customs that I hope remain, so I vow to continue-   
When I meet someone new, look them in the eye, and smile.  If the mood strikes, shake hands.
Enjoy and engage in actual conversation.
Remember how fun it is to laugh with another human being.
Because no matter how advanced technology gets, it will never satisfy all the senses.  

     Lastly I will still read honest to God, books.  I love the smell, the history, the je n'sais quoi...  that jumps out from my 1911 edition of J.M. Barrie's,  Peter and Wendy.  It's old, heavy, and lovely.  No Nook, or Kindle or whatever can hold a candle to that.  And I love the smell of a wood burning fireplace; no flippa switch for me, thank you.