Monday, June 27, 2011

Beep me... my love/hate relationship with technology

My love/hate relationship with technology(namely cell phones) goes WAY middle school. The year was 1995 and I had just earned a pager after a summer of baby-sitting. I was pretty stoked about it, since pagers were the "new thing." They were a much better option than the giant "Zach Morris Cell phones" available at the time.

My pager was a shiny, light-blue shade and it allowed me to receive archaic text messages from friends. Now, I would know who was trying to get a hold of me and I could call them back (sometimes from a pay phone). I loved the freedom of people being able to reach me when I was not at home. And, as a 13-year-old, I often was not at home.

Since I did say this was a love/hate, let me tell you the hate part. Not only could my friends track me could my parents! And, I was expected to call back when they beeped me.

This relationship with technology continues today, but now it is much more extreme than a simple beeper. People can now contact one another ALL THE TIME! While this is sometimes really cool and helpful (when you are lost trying to find some body's house, during an emergency, etc) mostly it is just annoying.

Two of my favorite memories were when I traveled through Europe. Obviously the trips were amazing but so was the lack of technology. When I was there I did not have my phone. It was heaven. Nobody could reach me and I could only search the web or check email from the REALLY OLD computer in the hotel (MOTEL/HOSTEL) lobby. And I survived. Thrived even. No cell problem!

Since I cannot always use the excuse that I am in Europe, I know have to purposely leave my phone at home when I am running errands, walking Teddy, or out to dinner. This gives me just a piece of the technology-freeness (not sure if this is a word, but oh well) I felt in Europe.

Since obtaining a new cell-phone last year, I now have a new issue...the Internet. Now that the Internet is available on my phone, I often find myself online and randomly searching the web. I will check facebook, look for Groupons, "Google" things I am wondering about. Not only is this rude to the people I am with (or unsafe, if I am in the car) it is flat-out annoying to me too!

Don't get me wrong, sometimes the Internet is fabulous to have at your fingertips. Sometimes it cures the boredom of sitting in a waiting room. Mostly though, it is absolutely not necessary to be online.

Another irritant that cell phones and technology have brought upon us all... people now assume one should be able to reach anybody, at anytime, in any format (text, call or email) and said recipient should either answer or respond immediately.

Is this fast-paced society we have created more effective? Or just more annoying? The jury is still out on that one. I do no that once in a while, we all need a break from being connected at all times.

So, I challenge you... go "retro." Try leaving your phone at home when you are out running errands. It will be just like back in the 80's and 90's. You know, when you could only be reached AT home and everybody just had to wait until you returned to reach you...

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