I always knew i was attached to my devices. My cellphone, computer, ipod or anything else that was small and portable. Needless to say I felt completely disconnected from the world when my laptop was on the fritz for a few weeks a couple of months ago. Sure internet can be accessed via cell phones, work computers or even using my roommates computer. But everything ceases when your own personal computer is gone, or at least for me it did. Goodbye to free music downloads. I can’t tell you how sad it made me not being able to download anything new or update my ipod. Do you know how disheartening it is not to be able to add new songs to a playlist? To see how many play counts a song has received? It’s plain torture on an Itunes lover’s soul. I can’t remember my last music download prior to the kaputzing of my laptop and that depressed me. I couldn’t even download or watch zshare vids. My fascination with the internet and all things wireless was dulled by the realization that the computer that I was using wasn’t mine. Another down side to not using your own computer was not being able to log-in to sites that you need to use because your passwords were saved. Can you say hello to late fees while I spent days searching for the answer to my “secret question(s).” Depressing and costly I might add. Sites need to all get together and make password rules universal, I change my password due to different restrictions-some are only 4 letters, some are a combo of numbers and letters, some want symbols-how can a girl keep up?
I am a member of Gen X and I am not ashamed to say I am hooked. Hooked on instant gratifications and constant access to information. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, rolled over and checked your email or did something random online, then rolled over and went back to sleep? No? Ok, maybe that’s just me, but that goes to show how attached I am to my electronics. In the absence of my laptop you’d think I’d have accomplished all the worldly things I’d been missing out on. Not so. I have the same number of unfinished books I had when it broke. I am the person who reads 3 books at once. So I’m still into 3 books, just a little bit further along. I did manage to catch up on a whole season of Gossip Girl and episodes of other shows left on my DVR from November. It was simple-replace one electronic with another.
I’m one of those people who believes that our children aren’t learning proper social skills due to technology being everywhere. But am I just as guilty as them? I mean, I’d rather instant message someone than sit on the phone. Am I someone who lacks social skills? do I prefer texting to talking? Or am I just evolving with technology. Everywhere you look people are using technology to reach broader audiences and increase revenue-online classes at major universities. I am guilty for signing up for one of those. Now you can even get a whole degree without ever having met a professor face to face or even stepping foot into a classroom. Is that really imaginable? Is that really a quality education? Are people becoming so dissocial (is that a real word?) that they can’t even be bothered with classmates and teachers? Isn’t socialization an integral part of learning? This is wh y we make sure out children get into the best pre-schools or our teen-agers don’t get caught up with the “other” crowd. So with socialization being so vital to our well being as people why are we OK with its demise? My 8 year old cousin wants a cell phone. He’s 8. Who does he have to talk to that he doesn’t see in school everyday?
This all came back to me over the last week when I lost my Blackberry. I didn’t have any of my contacts, writing ideas were lost along with quotes I wanted to use. How could I have been so easily enticed-using my blackberry instead of my handy notebook. Why do I text more than I talk. I can remember a time when my life literally revolved around my telephone-my house phone. Then it later progressed to my cell phone, I couldn’t wait to devour my free nights and weekends. But now I talk to everyone via instant messages and my minutes no longer near their peak ( besides the fact I’ve upgraded to unlimited). I am guilty. I am addicted to google and IMs. I like having the information super highway at my fingertips but I don’t like feeling like my social skills are lacking. Nor do I want to get there someday. So this is what I’ll do, I vow to take back my social life and make it more personal! I will call people and actually visit with them more often. That’s step one. (I’m a work in progress).
Do NOT mistake this as vow to not EVER use texts or IMs.. but more so a reform effort.