I’m not as enamored of the technical toys as the younger generation is. Lived too much of my life without them so I really can’t see the benefit of everything that is being developed now. I don’t want to be connected to the world wide web all the time. When I’m out at a movie, I don’t need to share with Twitter everything I’m seeing. I’d rather watch the movie and eat popcorn. When out with friends I choose not to spend my time texting to others who may not be there with us. The point is to enjoy myself with those who are there in front of me.
I want to see the blue sky when it’s sunny. I want to lie back and examine the clouds for all the lovely things my mind will see in the fluff. I want to quietly enjoy the smell of new mown grass, and watch the rabbits play at dusk. I have no desire to sit with whatever miracle of technology will allow me to share my thoughts with the world. I can do that on days made for that kind of thing. The snowy or rainy days when it’s not wise to leave the warmth of home unless one has to. I have a computer for those occasions. I don’t need a cell phone for that.
Sometimes I think we’re losing our humanity to technology. Networking on the internet seems to be replacing, for some of us, the face to face conversations with our neighbors and friends that used to bring us together. It wasn’t that we liked everyone, but we didn’t argue or fight the way people do now. We used to settle neighbor disputes through compromise most of the time. We respected each others privacy and right to enjoy their property. We used to find ways to handle the annoyances of incessantly barking dogs or the sound of power mowers when we really wanted to sleep later. We understood that others don’t work the same shifts we do and that may be the only time they have to take care of chores. They too could be counted on to accord to us the same understanding. None of us truly liked it, we just seemed to be more tolerant of it.
We have replaced getting to know our neighbors with getting to know others who live in far off lands. Those others don’t have the capability of disturbing us in the same way, but they stand in the way of getting familiar with and learning to understand those closest to home. Maybe that’s why neighbor disputes end in violence so many times these days. I don’t really know why things are the way they are, but I remember very clearly how they were before computers and the world wide web. Before the cell phone we carried for emergencies became another tool for connecting to the world rather than our neighborhoods.
So, today I bought a cell phone. It’s purpose is for me to call someone if I have an emergency while driving from client to client. Simple, basic communication. This purchase is not my idea. It was demanded of me by those who love me most. I drive some bad roads in remote areas to get to my clients. The idea is that I can reach someone if I need or want to. I put this purchase off as long as I could, but winter is coming. Some day I might be grateful I have it, but right now I’m saddened by the idea that cell phones are a necessity.
Once upon a time it was safe to travel without one. If a vehicle broke down, someone would soon stop to offer help. Sometimes it was necessary to take a short walk and a knock on someones door to ask for assistance. Not today. Today we need to be afraid of stopping to help stranded motorists or of opening our door to strangers. Times have changed and I agree that I have to make changes in my life. I just don’t always have to like it.