The Age of Technology was supposed to make life easier & to give us more free time, just as the Industrial Revolution had promised after WWII.
Well, I still prefer a manual can-opener to an electric one, a standard shift to an automatic, a hand-pushed lawnmower to “riding lawn tractor” & a rake to a leaf blower. But I do see the advantages of an automatic washing machine vs. one of those hand-cranked roller things, so it’s a mixed bag.
But now, we have a billion & one electronic gew-gaws to choose from that often get certain things done so fast, that we’re practically running ahead of ourselves at times.
And I gotta admit, I like a lot of them. I can screen calls, e-mail, FaceBook & blog with my “Smart Phone.” I can look up any kind of trivia that I’m curious about on the Internet & get info within seconds. I can’t play Farmville on my Smart Phone (probably for the best…) (& actually “Smart”!), but I can take hundreds of photos of my cats & force them upon an almost-captive audience.
And MP3 players…you can have all of your music in one place, all the time with just a swipe of a touchscreen. No need to crank up an old Victrola or worry about scratched vinyl.
The list goes on: Digital cameras, electronic tablets, GPS devices, HDTV, laptops, netbooks, e-readers & game players.
All of these things are pretty nifty (well, I dunno about that big, heavy eye-pad gizmo), but there is a bit of a drawback to their being totally, fabulously glamorous.
Cords…. Cables…. Adaptors….
All of them different & non-interchangeable.
And therein lies the rub. We think we are free to e-mail & gab on FB & type the Great American Novel & snap Pulitzer-prize winning photos on our magic devices to our hearts content…. But the magic goes “poof!” when the battery loses its charge.
And then, it’s like, “oh crap I only had one more sentence to type” or “oh crap I almost had the perfect photo” or “oh crap I was right in the middle of a call.” Perhaps even a few tears are shed.
Our fancy gems of modern tech need umbilical cords. And unlike us humans who lose our UmCords at birth, thus making it possible to eventually move 400 miles away from our mothers, we can never be too far from an electrical socket if we are using our power-hungry toys.
And, even in the safety of our own homes, the UmCord octopus can be a nightmare. The various stringy things are hard to tell apart, they get tangled, they get misplaced, they are often in danger of being gnawed on by curious cat teeth.
I have a power strip with 6 outlets that I bought back in 1997 — it was like, so cool back then…state of the art! So many plugs! And now of course this power strip has to have another power strip plugged into it to accommodate all the various technically advantageous stuff that complicate…er…simplify my life.
At times I must admit I am overwhelmed…the cords & cables & adaptors wander like snakes & I have often found myself in whirling dervish mode in my tiny apartment trying to find the right doodad for the camera & the hoohah for the smart phone & the thingamajig for the netbook. And, oh crap, did I charge the MP3 player for that long drive in the car? And the TV, the DVD player, the lamp & the space heater are all vying for space as well.
And even though all of our amazing Silicon Valley heart-throbs can store 1000s of photos, books, documents, songs, voice notes, videos & telephone numbers, we still need back-up in the forms of books, papers, photo albums, CDs, DVDs & address books stuffed onto shelves & stored in drawers….
Because if the UmCords get lost or the power goes out or the gizmo dies, well, that’s all she wrote…nothin’.
Does it ever REALLY get anymore simple?
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