I think iPhones, IPADs, laptops, smart phones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, hot zones, Facebook, Twitter, video games, texting and video surveillance (hidden or otherwise) are making people obsessive compulsive information gatherers, whether they really need the information or not. These devises have morphed into our security blankets. When was the last time you left home without your iPhone or laptop or whatever? You take this “stuff” just in case, just so you can check out your Facebook page and your emails while you’re out and about. Right? Do you feel if you don’t get a cell phone call, a text message, a Facebook status update or an email every half-hour or so that you’re missing out on something? Well, based on what I get everyday, I certainly don’t feel left out. Excluding my immediate family, of course, the real pains are the inane emails and useless Facebook notifications I get every day. All just to let me know that Joe Fumblefork or Jane Juicysmooch just updated their status on Facebook. WHOOP-DE DO!! Is it really necessary to notify all 300 (or more) of your Facebook “friends” (me included, and thank you very much for the friendship) that you just picked up your dry-cleaning? The other day I got another splendid example of these “informative” Facebook email notifications; it was simply titled “Beard”. Why would a person update his Facebook “STATUS” just to display a picture of their face with maybe 5 days growth? Maybe he’s broke and can’t afford razor blades anymore. Everyday I get a couple dozen of these frivolous Facebook notifications. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but notify me when your wife just had a baby, or you broke your arm playing touch football, and I’ll send you the appropriate greeting card, or I’ll call and ask if you need me to come over to help out, if I’m not busy. Where, or what, is the gratification (instant gratification if you will) a person gets in telling a bunch of people what he or she did or how they feel about something. It’s really not necessary to tell all 300 or more of your friends, “Man, I hate paperwork”? How many times has a person dropped their purse, a briefcase, a bag of groceries or car keys, scrambling to check their latest text messages or notifications, only to find out Joe Butwide said, “Man, I hate paperwork”. Please, at least, make your “notifications” worthwhile.
With all these instant communication devices are we really better off than the caveman? At least the caveman didn’t worry about voyeurism when he or she went behind a tree or rock to accommodate Mother Nature. How do you maintain any independence, privacy, individuality or a valid thought process with all these electronic tentacles and gadgets imbedded in you, sounding off every 15 minutes or so?
I don’t text, Twitter or use any of that other “stuff”. I do use a cell phone (not an iPhone, smart phone or a droid). I only use my cell phone for calls and I never use my cell around a crowd or in a restaurant and, if I must use it, I go outside or find a corner away from everyone. What’s also aggravating is 75% of the time when I call someone’s cell, they don’t answer. Why have a cell phone if you’re not going to answer it most of the time? Most of the time when I leave a voice mail, they never call back. Maybe they’re trying to tell me something. Who knows anymore. I do use email, but only on my computer. I also use Facebook to flaunt this website and to see pictures of my fantastic grandkids that my son and daughter-in-law put there. Those notifications are the wonderful and worthwhile notifications. That is really nice! And, I rarely, I mean rarely, update my Facebook Status. I’m as up to date on that as I want to be.
I’ve had it up to my hard drive with all this electronically sponsored social communication. I will ruthlessly continue to censor and limit the number of electronic tentacles forced on my wretched soul.
Remember, the slaves did in the Romans, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Internet, computer programmers and politicians do us in, by causing our society to implode from the deluge of instant information confusion.
Remember, the best things in life are always simple and free. However, I’m afraid the freedom and simplicity I enjoyed as a kid will never be experienced by my grandkids.