Sunday, January 24, 2010
The End of a Friendship... or, Life Without Technology
Okay, not totally without technology, because I wouldn't be posting this if that were so, but lately it's been rough going. Our wireless internet connection has been working less than 50% of the time and today my trusty cell phone finally bit the dust, never to be revived. According to my offspring, my phone was an antique, because it didn't have a camera or texting, let along the ability to play games or download books. Did I need those? Because I never missed not having them.
I am in deep mourning. Inconsolable. I vowed we would be together forever. That it would be the only cell phone I would ever have. I resisted even getting one in the first place, but once we figured each other out, well, we needed each other - although there were moments when I wanted to flail the thing at the wall either for scaring the heck out of me when the ringer went off or making me accessible at all times. (I like being aloof and unreachable). This means I will have to get a new cell phone and learn all over again how to operate the dag-nabbed thing, because of course those techno-geeks who sit around and get paid big bucks to design these things will have devised a 'better' product, with more applications, menus, settings and doo-hickeys than Carter has pills. Oh, am I dating myself? You bet. The first phone I ever used had a rotary dial. There was no speed dialing. Voice mail was non-existent. Pagers were a futuristic gadget available only to elite medical personnel for life and death situations.
So why am I moaning? I mean, I'm long overdue for a replacement phone, so it'll be free. Well, I am a creature of routine. Learning new stuff takes thought and if you only ever do it once in a blue moon, you get rusty. Like most folks, I shun manuals and try to figure things out by trial and error, which usually means a lot of colorful language. And, and, and... there was nothing wrong with the old one. I miss it already. Hand me a tissue.
Anywho, the lack of reliable wireless means crawling around on the internet at Snail Factor -5 on the dial-up connection. They don't build web sites anymore for those of us cursed with outdated technology. While waiting for pages to load, I've been known to: let the dogs out, fix myself lunch, let the dogs back in, go outside and feed the sheep and ducks, fill up water troughs, come back inside, empty the dryer, transfer clothes from washer to dryer... and when I return to my desk the page is still not loaded. Although sometimes I get kicked off altogether, thereby mercifully sparing me hours of my life spent staring at a blank screen, waiting. And what's the point of whittling away hours on Facebook if it takes five minutes just to establish a connection?
But there is an upside to everything, right? Indeed. Distractions have been minimized. At this very moment I am hidden away in the library, and nobody can reach me unless it's a dire emergency. Bliss! This week I finished reading one book and am 3/4 of the way through another. I have time to write. Time to talk with family, to shop, work out, fuss over the dogs. Maybe there's more good to this than bad after all?