My “smart phone” has given me a disease. And it’s not brain cancer.
I’ve realized that all of the technological options for communication have crippled me. I’m worse at responding, keeping in touch, communicating, and staying connected than I ever was before life happened in gigabytes.
I used to check my emails on my laptop once, maybe twice daily. I would check when I had time to respond to things and answer questions. People used to call me to announce that they were: getting married, divorced, pregnant, having surgery, lost a leg…
With my smart phone though, I can check emails ANYWHERE! At a stoplight, in a waiting room, while getting my teeth cleaned, during PTO meetings. You name it, I’ve checked email there. BUT, I don’t have time to respond. I think to myself, “Oooh, I need to write something back on this, I’ll do it when I have more time and a full sized qwerty keyboard.” Yes, but then I forget! I’ve managed to leave so many people hanging that it is amazing I’m not hanging from the rafters by people whose emails have gone unattended. Just to name a few: My mom (not to mention the multiple Words With Friends games that I’ve abandoned with her as well), church committees, PTO people, friends, invitations, and even some Nigerian Prince needing $5,000 to save his life so he can come to America and pay me 20K.
To add further complication, any email that contains photos, links, or attachments won’t come through correctly on my phone, so I stash that into the “Handle this later” portion of my brain that has atrophied into a useless lump of glop.
I’m still bad when it comes to returning phone calls **obviously there is a mental deficit here… I do have a family history of early onset dementia, I’m lucky I remember I have a blog** But, not nearly as bad because a phone call is much more personal and thus sticks out in my mind better than all of the multiple email/text/message notifications
Gone are the days of a phone call to tell big news or to ask a question. Now, everything happens via social networking. I would have to log onto Facebook and spend hours daily to know what all my friends are doing and to be able to appropriately respond. But I don’t have hours. And now Facebook changes daily and picks and chooses what updates I see and I usually only see what’s right there on the first page because I like to give it 5 minutes, not all afternoon. Now, I’m just confused and lost because I’m supposed to know that Suzy sold her truck to pay for Jill to get out of jail because she was selling meth to pay for Suzy’s gender-reassignment surgery. And when I run into Suzy at the store
she’s he’s mad that I don’t use the name “Sam.” Yes, that’s a true story. **as if**
The point is, people in real life expect each other to know all of their business because it was posted on Facebook. I’ve tried to keep up, but it’s too much! If I log into FB from my phone, I see even less than when on my laptop and it’s just an ineffective, artificial way for me to be social.
I’m still trying to decide what to do about it. It’s a catch 22. The more I limit my time on Facebook, the more updates and information I miss and the more guilt about not keeping up. The more I log on, the more time I spend sucked into this virtual vortex society. I did remove the Facebook application from my phone. I figure that will limit me to logging on when I’m home in front of a laptop. Not while waiting for kids at times where I won’t comment on anything anyway.
Email is a different matter. I do like the ability to check it from my phone remotely. I just can’t trust myself to be resonsible about it. I’m wondering if it’s time to remove my account from my phone and return to the days of only checking email while I’m sitting in front of a computer and full sized keyboard.
It seems that the more options I’m presented for socializing, the more anti-social I become. The pressure is too much. I can’t concentrate on any one method enough to be good at it.
Paper and pencil. I remember when I was still just dating my now Voice of Reason husband. We had two years of long-distance dating and the letters sent between us during that time were the highlight of my existance. I’m sure now we would email, text, or instagram **I still can’t understand that app** but eventually I would drop the ball, not answer a text, forget an email… he would dump me for sure.
Maybe I’ll convert this blog to an old fashioned hard-bound journal. I’ll make several copies by hand and mail them out for anyone interested. Just email me your address… on second thought, your email will just slip into the abyss of other forgotten emails. Nevermind…
I’m clearly not alone in my plight. A quick search found these funny little cartoons that share my feelings.