Saturday, April 25, 2009


It is said that all of our technology makes our lives easier. While I am sure it's true that say microwaving a hot pocket is easier than taking down a yak and dragging it back to the cave to be skinned and cooked, I am not convinced that technology always makes our lives easier. In fact I think it complicates it in many instances.

Last weekend R bought a new wireless router and we had nothing but problems all week long. I could barely get online for more than a few seconds to a minute or two before it would crash. We spent hours on the phone with the tech people at the company who made the product, changing every possible setting there is to reset. We finally solved the problem today by returning the router and buying a different brand. Luckily that one is working great now.

Not only did we have the frustration of not being able to get online, but we also had to go through eight robot prompted options to get a live person each time we called.

Sometimes I miss the freedom I had as a kid. We had three channels on the TV, a TV that we had to get up and manually change I might add...and we couldn't record anything. So if you missed a show or there was nothing on, you went outside or read a book.

Meals took longer to prepare but they certainly tasted better, and in the long run they were probably healthier despite carbs and fat. Butter, sugar and white flour weren't our enemies then. We ran right outside after we were done eating and burned it off. I weigh more now than I did when I was younger and I am not sure that's all attributed to age.

You actually talked to people in person or on the phone and heard their voice, knowing how they meant what they said and people weren't so sensitive. Having personal interaction was nice, it added that human touch we are so rapidly losing.

I worry for the future generations. Last summer on a beautiful day I was outside gardening when it struck me that none of the kids that I know live in our neighborhood were outside. Not a single one. I am sure they were all playing video games, texting or watching things they had Tivo'd. I don't think that can be healthy.

Maybe I am just getting old. I find myself missing a freer way of life that didn't involve setting things to record, being leashed by a cell phone where anyone can get me at any time even when I am enjoying some time out, or even getting lost in preparing a meal from scratch. The latter surprises me because I have never been much of a cook. I feel very sad for younger generations that have never experienced that sense of freedom or accomplishment.

The problem with technology is that we come to rely on it so fast and so easily. I missed being able to see what was going on in the world or check the weather at the click of a button. It's frustrating when it gets taken away, and it's frustrating that I need it now.

I have made a decision though, I am going to spend one day a week without my computer, cell phone and microwave, just relive the freedom of the old days. I might use real butter or sugar and in the long run, I might be healthier!

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