The energy of the mind is the essence of life. – Aristotle

The Gizmo Enslaving Us

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A few years ago, a smart phone was forced upon me.  I kicked and screamed because I was never going to use this technology.  A phone was only needed to call and text.  Sure, there was Snake, or some other game that I could play if I was at the airport, or had some spare time; but who had spare time anyway?  I was so upset to get rid of my BlackJack II because it had a full keyboard, and was a good size.

I’m not opposed to new technology, but why would I pay more money per month to have internet access to look at Facebook?  It’s a waste of money.  The phone was to keep in contact with people, not a toy.  Now I had this awful touch screen phone complete with a slide out keyboard because that was the one thing I requested, along with the now extinct unlimited internet access.  This whole thing was an abomination.

When I got in the car, I left the phone in my purse.  It’s a phone, no one was calling me, and I had no texts.  Randy insisted that I at least download Facebook.  So… I did.  Yay… I can now check and see what my friends were doing at any given time.  Wasn’t any different than the text message updates that Facebook sent me when someone I had subscribed to updated their status.  I logged in and updated myself on peoples lives.  Yay…

Then I decided, I should probably download an app to send me news updates if I was going to have access to this stuff.  Why not Bubble Breaker too.  Probably need to know the weather just in case.  Oooo, there’s that flashlight thing that will give me a flashlight in case I need it by turning on the camera flash.  I can watch YouTube videos too?  Awesome.

And like that, I didn’t put the thing down for the ten minutes we drove home; like giving crack to an addict.  Then we got home and I spent at least another hour on the stupid thing.  And let me tell you something, I probably used that pull out keyboard less than the number of fingers a person has on one hand.  Most worthless thing ever.

Now, you can’t get the thing out of my hands.  It is my alarm clock, email, map, calculator, calendar, camera, music player, fantasy football organizer, and flashlight.  Least of all, it is a phone.  Do people even have regular cameras anymore?

Spare time?  What spare time?  In the five minutes I have during lunch, to the three minutes I have waiting on a client, you can guarantee that phone is in my hand and I am checking email, Facebook, or the weather.  Heaven forbid I leave the thing at home.  (NOTE:  I have. I immediately turned around from going to work one morning and went back and got it.  Only because someone might think I was dead if they didn’t hear from me for eight hours.)  I just feel so naked without it.  It’s worse than forgetting your watch.  It’s more like forgetting your left hand.

What did people do before these things?  How did they live?  Can you imagine living prior to cell phones in general and going on vacation?  How did people know you were alright?  What did they do when they needed to know where the nearest Whataburger is?  How did they inform 400 people that they could care less about that they were having a crummy day?  Does anyone remember calling “information” to get an address?  Does anyone remember having to go to the school office to use the phone to call your mom to remind her to pick you up?

This seemingly innocent device has taken over our lives.  Instead of carrying on with the conversation amongst your friends, you have two other conversations going on making fun of someone in the room.  Don’t laugh at me, you’re guilty too.  Instead of having a little adventure and a story to tell the next day, you can get somewhere without even a glitch.  What a terrible thing a GPS can be.  The best stories always come from an almost disaster.  How rare those seem to happen now.

There’s another notification on my phone.  Wonder if it’s ESPN, Facebook, or FoxNews.



Author: Jess

Texan by birth, Okie by current address. Journalist who caught the travel bug. I have a healthy dachshund obsession and spend endless hours reading about world history on Wikipedia.

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