Technology Addiction

A luxury, once enjoyed, becomes a necessity! The last few weeks, I have become painfully aware of how true this statement is.

Not unlike most people, I am very dependent on the technology of today’s world. All of us enjoy modern conveniences in our lives. Seldom do we give them much thought, until they quit working! The big question is, why do several equipment breakdowns always seem to happen at once? As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours!” This month it rained really hard on me as I endured several rounds of technology failure!

First round!

My computer was giving me fits with frozen screens, lost data, etc. As many of you know, this is very frustrating! OK, I’ll admit it needed new memory and software and I’d been procrastinating. So . . . I installed the upgrades, hoping the change would resolve the problems. NOT! Currently I’m spending more hours on the phone with technical support than I am working! I don’t like my computer right now, but I surely can’t live without it!

Second round!

Our web site was up and down, due to regular maintenance upgrades. Crafters across the nation were alarmed when they couldn’t reach the site. Many of them contacted us. When I spoke to them, each said the same thing, “Oh, thank goodness! I was afraid you had removed the site and I was having withdrawals!”

Third round!

The office fax line died for a day, just about the time things were getting back to normal! Of course, every company is dependent on their fax machine. I didn’t realize how much we were until that day! The phone calls started early that morning and didn’t slow until the telephone company repaired the line late that afternoon. I think everyone who knew us tried our fax line that day!

Fourth round!

My thirteen year old washing machine spilled its final wash cycle all over the laundry room floor! We called some repair companies and they told us to trash the washer and buy a new one. You can imagine a family of eight without a washing machine!!! Emergency! Michael and I jumped into the car and went shopping. I have to say, that old washer was a good friend for a long time. If it endured our family laundry for thirteen years, it could have lasted twenty years for anyone else!

Fifth round!

My cell phone quit working one day while I was at Brandon’s baseball game. Michael was home with the other kids and I needed to let them know we were in extra innings! What is a mother to do without her cell phone? 😐

Everyone can relate with my experiences this month because you’ve all endured equipment failures at times. Yes, it is very frustrating, but aren’t we lucky to live in a time of so many conveniences? Our lives are very cushy compared to past generations. Like everyone else, I’ll continue to enjoy the technological conveniences in my life, until they decide to quit again!

Can technology permeate our lives too much? Do any of us know? Consider our children. My children use computers, video games, etc. on a daily basis as educational tools and for entertainment. The newest trend, a computer pet, has taken a different approach. It looks like a key chain and emulates a live pet. These pets start as infants and it’s care taker is responsible for it’s well being. The pet grows daily and can’t be ignored anymore than

gigapetKendall, my ten year old son, was recently given one of these pets for his birthday. I have watched Kendall develop a serious interest in Toms’s well being. Tom is a sophisticated product of modern computer programming. He requires feeding and play time. He even poops and requires baths. Thank goodness Tom sleeps for several hours every night! Sometimes Kendall has to discipline him. If Tom is neglected, he gets sick and requires medicine. This pet’s entire life is viewed on a mini computer game screen!

Kendall misplaced Tom last night and was very concerned that his pet would die! He was in tears as our whole family (all eight of us) pitched in to find Tom. When we did finally find him, the little guy was very hungry and sad. Kendall quickly took care of him!

The school doesn’t allow these computer pets in class, so Kendall needs a daily baby sitter! Guess who was elected? Tom sits on my desk every day as I work. I check him periodically and give him what he needs. After all, it would be devastating to kill my son’s pet while I’m taking care of it! (Is this beyond the call of Motherly duty?)

Yes, believe or not, these computer pets can die. One of Kendall’s friends accidentally killed his pet when he disciplined it too much! Can you believe this? Computer pet abuse!!

© Renee Chase, November 1997