Dealing with technology overload

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Now don’t for a minute think I’m a tekkie.  I’m not hot wired for such. I don’t tweet or twitter or even use a blue…er, blackberry.

Learning to e-mail and replacing light bulbs are my greatest technological achievements.  Oh, and I do have a cell phone which I can answer and hang up – but that’s the limit of my cellular knowledge.

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Nevertheless,  I surveyed my home this morning and found it  blinking like a honky tonk.

We lost power for a nanosecond last light and every appliance is reminding me to reset their clocks or restart their systems.

I don’t even need to decorate for Christmas – all I need to do is throw the switch to cut the power and the twinkling begins.

In public the problem is worse. In every crowd you approach, the people are either listening to an iPod, talking on a cell phone, or typing on a BlackBerry. The overuse of technology in everyday life is like smoking in public – it’s harmful to users and nonusers alike. It’s also rude.

These tekkies are doing more than just ruining their hearing, diminishing their creativity and harming their ability to think and reason in silence. They also miss out on spontaneous interactions which can lead to exciting and memorable situations.

People don’t even know how to Chit Chat any more for Pete’s sakes.  Ask a stranger – especially someone under the age of 21 – in the grocery line where they are going for Thanksgiving and all you get is a vacant stare.  They look at you like you’re some crazed person with kidnapping on your mind.

Small talk is doomed.  They should offer it as a second language at the university.

Here’s a suggestion for combating this technology overload in your home. Create an absolutely-no-technology zone, which means no clock ticking away the deadline, no programmable anything. Instead carve out a space where you can unwind far from the maddening airwaves.

TV Here’s how I got the idea. My archaic bedroom  television went on the blink on Sunday morning.  It was my lifeline – I slept to the droning of whatever show was playing from 10 p.m. – 5  a.m.  Well, not sleep exactly,  when something interesting came on I would become alert and watch.

What would I do now?  I mentioned to a friend that I thought my picture tube had gone out.  He told me televisions haven’t had picture tubes in 25 years. (This TV could qualify I’m pretty sure.)

So for the past two nights I’ve had no television to sleep by.  I thought I would die.  Instead I slept like a baby for eight solid hours – no waking up at 3:30.

I awoke with no advertising jingles running through my head.  No jet lag feeling.  Yet I missed watching Bill Gamel on the morning news.  So I grabbed my remote and began punching buttons.  There’s one at the upper left called TV input which must be the satellite connector. I gave it a punch and Viola! – the picture was back in Technicolor.

I’m considering making my bedroom the “no tech” zone, but first  I’ve got to complete 27 days of TV addiction treatment.

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