(Oct, 2011) Wonderful technology, well isn't it? When I want to remind my husband to pick up milk on his way home, or not to forget he promised to stop by his moms on his way home, then I just text him and all is taken care of. What a technological dream, whether he is available or not, I have reminded him. I can remove so many things from my imaginary
plate by texting and from the plates of my friends. While having lunch with a friend the other day she asked me to please text her to remind her to text someone else a question that has been looming over her head, and the third friend at the table asked that while I had my phone out could I please text her to remind her to ask her husband a question she has been forgetting
for days. What a wonderful gift of technology.
Then their is the smart phone...wow a phone that is smart, who would have thought. You can surf the web, download learning games for the kids, shop for apps from a "market" that will help you do anything from balancing your checkbook to counting calories. The smartphones are just that - smart. This is not to mention netbooks, I-pads, all-in-one
printers, wireless internet, DVR's, and on-line banking. What an amazing change in technology from just 10 years ago. But is technology all it is cracked up to be?
Lets see, there happens to be something weird with my internet that I can only hook up to the wireless modem if my computer sits in one specific spot on the kitchen island. I have a friend whose satellite goes out with every storm no matter how small. As a matter of fact I missed submitting my August article because I couldn't get my email to work at
all. And lets not forget that every time the "keepers" of the technology decide to make a change they up the cost of said technology. And of course the more technical the technology the more costly it is to fix when it breaks and the easier it is to break.
But I do not mean to be pointing a finger at our phones and home computers, I would be remiss if I left out the fact that most of the automobiles today are computerized and it can seem that they simply decide to stop running because of a glitch in their wonderful computer brains. So imagine a mom with four kids at a park and unable to drive home
because her vans computer brain has decided to go in strike. Automobiles aren't the only technologically "advanced" big ticket items we have in our possession now a days. Even our appliance have a larger brain than some of the guys I knew in college and they work about as often.
All of these super computers that are placed into our vehicles and our appliances are there to make our lives easier. Which in fact they do, when they are working properly. But they also make it easier for us to be just a bit lazier and when they stop working, even for a short period of time, nine times out of ten we have forgotten that we used to do
things the old fashioned way. With a little thought and some hard work. This is a lot like an episode of The Cosby Show we watched recently, where Cliff couldn't find the remote and when it was suggested he get up and walk over to the television to turn it on he simply replied, "then I will have to get back up every time I want to change the channel". This is the epitome of
what technology has encouraged in the human race.
"Work smarter not harder!" I can hear myself saying this to my children when I am explaining how to create an assembly line to get a chore done. This is great advice in this instance but sometimes it is the hard work we need to do. And technology has a tendency to find a way around the hard work. Some times I feel like my family relies so much on
technology that when they don't have it they are lost. We have lost power at our house quite a bit recently, with all of the storms, and it has left my kids and husband bored and without purpose. "Mom why won't the television work?" my youngest son asked bewildered. "Don't worry we can just go downstairs and play video games", his sister helpfully chimed in after I point out
the power outage.
At this point an all out political style debate broke loose as my oldest started to explain the circumstances and the youngest three became annoyed, flabbergasted, and confused (not necessarily in that order). I jumped in with candles and flashlights, since it was starting to get dark, old fashioned board games, and cards. When it was finally time for
bed no one could go to sleep since it was so dark and quiet. I can't believe I am saying this but, I caved and turned on Pandora radio on , you guessed it, my smartphone. They were out in minutes!!
Please do not misunderstand, I love my smartphone (when I can figure out how to use it and it is working properly), and I love my internet (when my email containing my attached article goes through to my editor properly), but when they aren't working I am more frustrated than if I didn't have this wonderful technology at all. I think maybe, just like
everything else it is all about moderation and making good choices. Always remember there was a way to get things done before the "wonderful technology" that we rely so heavily on. So write a letter this month in stead of email, make a phone call instead of text, and read a book instead of video games or instant streaming.
Read other articles by Mary Angel