Strangled by my connections

Book time vs. computer time
A recent Internet outage revealed how dependent I’ve become. I wasn’t always this way.

Back in the Dark Ages when I graduated from high school, I packed my belongings and moved to my first apartment. My father, who probably was more worried than he let on, insisted on paying for a telephone. These devices were actually rented from the phone company. It was the only way he could reach me. Problem? I wasn’t always home—and there were no answering machines yet.

I also brought with me my brand new electric typewriter. Throughout college, any paper I wrote had to be typed and then re-typed as many times as required for editing. No cut and paste--those words still had their original meaning.

Over the next 10 years our export business utilized many cutting edge communication tools: personal computer, fax machine, the “mobile” phone that weighed about 5 pounds. It seemed like each year brought new toys. Cell phones. Digital cameras. The Internet.

Now our phones have aps that can tell us where we are, what we should do, where to eat, and how much to exercise if we do eat. We can tweet, text, and post on Facebook all with a devise that slips into our pocket.

A couple days ago I pulled out my old typewriter.  Without it, I probably wouldn’t have graduated.  I ran my fingers over its hard plastic keys. The motor still hummed. I recalled how hot it would get from hours of work.  As I shut the case I couldn’t help but consider all the technological changes since I had last used it.

I thought about how much I had changed too.  Each new invention allowed me to do things more easily. Now I email rather than write letters. Accounting? Hours of freedom from how it used to be. But what am I doing with all of that extra time?

The very devises that have made my life “easier” have also sucked up my attention.  When it was just my typewriter and me, I wasn’t distracted by online news and activities, text messages, and 24/7 phone contact.

It’s never been easier for me to communicate, nor harder for me to focus. Double edged sword.  When I get antsy without Internet service it reminds me how connected I’ve become. That’s fine, as long as I don’t get entangled.

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