Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Price of Technology

            So, I’ve been busy. Obviously, my “post a day” idea tanked. I’m not real sad about it because I’ve been off the computer and out living. I’ve been exploring local nature trails and going to the beach, spending a day in the city, and even reading actual books. You know what I’m talking about: the kind that you don’t have to read on your screen. It’s been nice to join the land of the living again; but I also recognize that I won’t ever finish this book if I don’t sit down and write it. So, I need to start focusing on the book and this blog again. So, I’m letting go of the “post a day” idea.
Oh well. I’m full of ideas. I’m not exactly crying over it. What I was crying over yesterday, though, was super lame.
            My Blackberry was down for the count.
            There’s a reason it’s called a Crackberry, folks.
            You see, my Blackberry has been my lifeline for the past year+ and until yesterday I didn’t think it was a problem. I use my phone for everything: gchat; web browsing; Word document editing; PDF viewing and editing; and about once a week I even write a chapter from my phone. It has a bunch of other features, too, which I don’t really use. Then of course, there’s the biggest thing—instant e-mail access. I’ve been known to check and respond to e-mail at 3am. No matter how deep asleep I was.
            So, yesterday I was freaking out. I had known for about a week that my phone was having some serious issues; so I brought it into the service center where they determined it’s a software issue and they’re sending me a refurbished one sometime this week. But after all that, my phone wouldn’t even charge. I was at the end of my rope.
            I’m not a heart surgeon or a solider; so really, I can miss a call, ya know? My e-mail isn’t life or death and yet, I sure was acting like it yesterday. My phone has since charged and is working well for now. When I got the stupid thing to finally charge and then turn on, you know what I found?
Absolutely nothing.
So, what was my fit about?
For now my phone is being replaced with the same model and that’s fine; but I’m going to have to do some thinking about what I should get this upcoming march when I’m eligible for an upgrade. Part of me wants a fancy new device and another part of me really doesn’t. What value does being able to check my e-mail at 3am hold for me?
There are obvious perks to having a smart phone. I can’t even tell you how many times being able to do a Google search has saved my hide; and I love being able to gchat with my friends when I’m bored; and having a full keyboard to type out a chapter is fabulous. But when do I just stop and smell the roses? When do I have a chance to just do nothing?
I can’t even remember the last time I just did nothing.
What is that anyway?
I feel like I’m constantly straddling two worlds: one where I want to be able to be “on” all the time and I push myself to the limit every day; and another where I can slow down and just enough a simpler life. There is definite value in being productive. And there’s inherent value in the simple things. And I think now more than ever, finding the balance that best suits you is tough. Sure, technology can make life easier; but then it also ties you down. We become dependent on the immediateness of it all.
I know that I have to find a way to simplify my life because the uber-connected rat race is not for me; but I still want the ease of access that a smart phone has to offer. I guess we’ll just have to see what I can do about finding a way to manage this.
And I do recognize what today is. I’ve chosen not to write about it. Maybe another day. It’s not that I think it’s time to move on or that I’m not thinking about it. The simple fact of the matter is that despite not being “personally” affected, this is still a tough day for me. So I’ll leave you with this—my heart goes out to everyone around the world who is still affected by the events that occurred ten years ago today; and a huge thank you to those who have dedicated their lives to defending our freedom.
Thank you.
                        See ya later,

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