Prior to 2011 I would have called myself a non-technology kind of a person. I had the normal collection of all technological things, but I didn't really care about them. My un-smart phone was off 20 out of 24 hours a day, I hardly used my home computer, and I stuck to about 3 television shows a year, max, and that was pushing it. Outside of that I could just care less.
Until now, when I've apparently gone crazy.
I've had a love/hate relationship with technology for a while. When I was in high school I was pretty leery of email, the Internet, and basically all things web related. My friend, Amber, promised me it was safe, repeatedly, but when she set up my account I made her use a newly created fake name, Veronica Hunter. Nothing about my email even reflected it was me.
Anyway, over the years I've grown fond of email, mostly through being forced to use it at work. I can pretty much knock out email like it's no one's business now. Outlook and I are BFF's, except for the spell check portion of it. I have been severely dumbed down by spell check. I've gotten lazy with my formerly excellent grammar skills (as you may have noticed, I apologize) and on many an occasion embarrassed myself to all of the people I work with. For example, there was one time I was sending an email to a group of managers. The acronym we all use for their title is BCM which spell check annoyingly changed to Bums. Out went my email to 33 people, calling each of them a Bum. Yes, very funny spell check, very funny.
On many, many occasions I have left my cell phone in odd places like a shoe box, under the seat of my car, in the pantry, etc. I am actually a very organized person, believe it or not, but I could care less about my cell phone's whereabouts since I (used to) rarely use it. You see, I fully believe I was born without the girl gene requiring me to love talking on the phone. I don't love it at all. I don't. If I have something to say, sure, or if I haven't talked to someone in a while, great, but I really, truly hate talking on the phone. Which is why I love texting. Short and right to the point.
Also, I never understood technology. You know that joke, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Well let's just say in my case the iPod came first before the computer and Internet, which are required to put the songs on the iPod. When iPods were fairly new I had to have one. I didn't understand them, clearly, but I had to have one of those little magical music boxes. I didn't realize until after I had it that I needed, ya know, a computer and of course, the Internet to get the songs. It was 2 years later that I finally broke down and got the Internet and a computer that wasn't from the early 90's with the Oregon Trail on it.
This new found insanity of mine all started with me realizing that having a smart phone of some kind would be good for someone like me, who constantly gets lost and openly admits to loving Google. How convenient and handy! I thought for sure I could ignore it's amazing convenience all day long and only use the Internet when needed. Uh, nope, guess not.
I've turned into one of those people who ignore you at lunch because my phone beeped at me and I MUST instantly look at it, and that I hate. I've always hated it. When I used to go to lunch with my old work friends (who both had two phones, one for work and one personal) it drove me insane the way they would sit there and play on both phones. I could go to lunch by myself and have more fun watching traffic out the window! Seriously, the world is not going to end in one lunch break and if it does, I probably wont need my phone to tell me about it since I'll be dead. But now I'm the one with the two phones and the attention problem.
At my house we decided to cancel our cable. We were tired of throwing money out the window for something that had no returnable profit. Somehow that backfired on me and I'm not even sure how or why, but I'm ready to make a deal with the cable devil soon if that will fix me. All of a sudden Netflix is my new best friend. First, I discovered Kyle XY. I watched the entire 3 seasons in one week. Then I found Veronica Mars and am currently half way through it and am very seriously considering the fact that I may need counseling for this new addiction. The other day I actually got up early just to watch an episode before work. I could not stop thinking about what was going to happen next. It was like I had to get my Veronica Mars fix. Or maybe I just need some good old fashioned sleep, but heck, there are crimes in Neptune to be solved!
Even Facebook has gotten to be a little too much for me. One late night I promised myself I was only going to check my email since I knew I had some from friends that I needed to respond to. I promised myself I would not get on Facebook, aka The Black Hole of Time. You know how alluring Facebook is though, and five minutes later I was on it, quietly reprimanding myself and whispering "This is not why I'm on here! This is not why I'm on here!!!!!"
|I'm sure this is all spell check's fault too.|
So...I feel the need right now to Just Say No.
To my phone, Facebook, email - pretty much everything except blogging for a bit. I would lie and say I want to say no to Netflix but I have 30 more episodes until I'm all the way through Veronica Mars and I just don't think my OCD will allow me to not finish it. OCD plus the endless desire to accomplish far too much is not a good mix.
Anyway...on to my point.
A few weeks ago I went to lunch with a friend and forgot both my personal and work phone at home. For once in a very long time I didn't even care. It was so nice to get away from being connected. That same week I saw a sign that said "My phone is off for you". I decided right then and there that at least when I'm with my friends I can adhere to that policy. They deserve my full and undivided attention. Before there were cell phones we all managed just fine and I am determined to live like that again. I'm determined to get back to the simpler things in life.
I remember when one of my best friends moved to Wisconsin and she and I would write letters to each other. I loved that. I still have all of them. Email is just so...informal. You can print out the emails but it's really not the same as having a hand written letter. When I was a little girl my gramma gave me a folder full of old cards she's saved over her entire life. Cards from the 50's, 60's - decades ago. It's so fascinating to look back at them and see how things have changed. I've decided that for every card I give someone I will write something important in it, something memorable. Not just a signature, but something to let them know what their friendship means to me or a memory of some adventure we had for them to remember later on in life. Something they can actually hold on to and look back at one day like I can with my letters.
Sometimes life gets in the way of us actually living our lives. It can be too convenient at times. Too easy to stay caught up on things that don't really matter. Too easy to multitask and be everywhere at the same time, thus not really being anywhere at all. If we divide ourselves and our attention too much eventually it will backfire on us.
As much as I love Facebook, I would much rather see my friends in person. There's nothing like laughing so hard I cry, which is best accomplished in person with the girls.
As much as I love email, I would much rather have a letter to look back at and cherish years from now, when my memory has faded and my Internet has crashed.
And as much as I love Netflix, I love even more the quiet, stillness of a good book in my hands right before bed and more importantly, a good nights sleep.
And as much as I love all of you, I need to go get that good nights sleep right now, so goodnight to all of you and may your days be filled with slightly less technology and your nights not be filled with TV characters breaking your heart.
For more information (and apologies) on my adverse reaction to technology, please see the Disclaimer of Sorts at the bottom of the blog page.
Falling Down Stairs and Kidnapping Friends
All is Forlorn for I've Lost my Mind