I’ve spent most of the last week up to my elbows in fixing computers, setting up computers, and general technology. It should be enough to make someone’s head explode. I sometimes think, “What would we do without it?” and yet I am the last generation that can remember what it was like without it. We get so used to habits though I can understand how we get so lazy. The other day I was going to ask a friend to give me his address before I stopped having a printer so I could print out directions from mapquest because how in the world would I find it otherwise and then I thought, “No, you’ll do it the old fashioned way and you’ll deal with it!” as memories of friends giving extensive directions about “turn left on this street, go 5 blocks…” flooded my brain.
I sometimes think about all the things that we take for granted and I start to understand the way people much older than me must feel. I have a brother 10 years younger than me and I’m sure he’ll never know what it’s like to use a pay phone, or write letters to friends. I love technology and it continues to amaze me, but there are things that I think should never change. I’m not comfortable with a world where everyone has a feed straight to their brain like that book Asher read. I want to curl up with the written word and scribble out my thoughts. I think things should enhance our life but not replace it, much like relationships, and with people spending so much time with their “loved ones” (iPhones, laptops, et al) isn’t that all it really is? Another relationship in your life. You don’t give up your whole self to your lover, (at least you shouldn’t), so why should we give our whole selves up to our computers?
I haven’t been without a computer for longer than a couple days since the year 2005, and even then I had a computer at work to turn to; and before that it must have been about 1998. I am a total computer geek but I am looking forward to my first ever vacation, taking place in a foreign country. I have made the decision to not even take my computer. I almost look forward to it, to get back to those glory days of adventures outside and experiencing everything the world dared to show me. I also seem to be of the last generation that had to know how to entertain itself without devices. Now all you hear from the younger ones is, “I’m bored,” unless they have a constant stream of internet, guitar hero, and TV all at once.
I suppose there are no answers, and I suppose I’m somewhat odd. I read books instead of watching TV. I do dishes by hand before I remember there’s a dishwasher. I’d rather walk than drive a car. Maybe my dysfunctional upbringing has something to do with it. Maybe the lack of electricity and luxuries was an advantage in disguise.
But now I ramble. It’s 11pm and I am at an airport waiting to fly all night to the East Coast. Don’t listen to the sleepy woman.