When technology makes fools of us

Ever since I had my first cell phone when I was, I don’t know, 17 years old (yes I realize that fact may date me, I don’t care) I remember having the leery sense that I ought to be careful with it.  Of what I wasn’t quite sure, but something about it seemed to demand a respect for thoughtful if not cautious use, lest it consume me.

Ok, I wasn’t quite that unsettled about it at the time, but it did seem too good to be true.

A phone I get to call my very own?  To call anyone with at my own discretion whenever I fancy?  SWEET. Whats the catch?

All this coming from a girl who doesn’t even like answering the phone, let alone carrying on a conversation with one. The fact that such a thing would even appeal to a girl like me speaks to the power of the age, I suppose.  Either that or the power of the idea of independence and freedom.   And this was, of course, even before iphones, smartphones or texting existed.

Yes, I am that old.  Heck, I still remember my family’s first landline phone (which, once upon a time, was the only phone in existence) hanging in our kitchen. It actually had a cord connecting it with one of those circular things in the center that made a clicking sound when you dialed it.  They called it a rotary phone.

I know, ancient. Ancient and very yellow.

Unknown-1

But I digress, back to the cell phone thing.  Since that first nifty blue flip-phone that now looks to be about 5lbs heavier than it should have been, it seems there really was something to that initial hunch of mine.  It is no secret now, of course, most of us are aware that if we’re not careful, the internet, phones and technology in general will take over the world and human beings will become extinct. Perhaps they already have….

Dun dun dun

Ok, maybe not taken over just yet, but it does tend to consume us, and it most certainly has a way of making utter and complete fools of us all.

Take, for example, my iPod addiction. Ok, to start with, the thing is broken- really broken.   It  has a big crack down the screen and the upper hand corner is shattered with a few small pieces missing from it.  Sometimes it plays the song I choose, sometimes it doesn’t, and most often it decides what songs it’s going to play and when it’s going to play them.

In more ways than one it’s gone quite mad, and I’m beginning to think it’s taking me with it. Instead of just letting it go like a normal person when I go running, I end up  fighting with the bloody thing the entire time, just so I can turn up my music and feel like no one can see me for a while.

And that, off course, is part of the illusion of it all, the grand mirage of technology that leads us to believe all sorts of personal fantasies that may or may not be real.  We pick our poison I suppose, and though somewhere in our mind we know it’s not real, we still take it.

I’ll never actually be invisible to the world by turning on my iPod, but for some reason, I still let myself believe it.

Then there was the time the texting lady walked into my stopped car. Oh yeah, I’m serious.  People worry about the danger of texting and driving, what about texting and walking?   There I am, sitting peacefully at the wheel of my car in front of a store, waiting for shoppers to pass by, when this lady runs smack dab into the side of my motionless car.

KaBLAM.

Now here’s the best part- she wasn’t even phased by it. After peeling herself off my side window, she slowly re-focused her eyes on the screen of her phone, as it were supplying oxcogyn or something, and continued on her way through traffic.

Fascinating. I think I just stared after her in astonishment, wondering if  I had just imagined the whole thing.   But then of course, I had her expressive imprint on my window to prove her recent company.

A few months ago a friend of mine told me about a little adventure he had with the remote key for his car. Upon leaving work one day, he went to unlock his car door, only to discover the remote had run out of batteries.

“Crimony” he thought (or some word akin to that line of thinking/feeling) “now I’ve got to get my wife to pick me up, drive an hour back to where the spare is, and come all the way back here so I can unlock my car.”

My friend proceeded to carry out this plan, and about two and a half hours later arrived back at his car.  It was at that moment he noticed the little key hole sitting nicely there upon his car door.  The one that fit very nicely with the key he’d been holding the whole time.

Beepity beep beep beep

(and that wasn’t the sound of his key remote either)

Yes, at one point or another, technology has made fools of each and every one one of us.  And if you think you’re an exception to the rule, think again.  You just read an entire blog on the nonsensical idea that technology is taking over the world.

(:

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