Closer to the beginning of this calendar year I read an article a friend posted on their Facebook about how the author was going to divorce their cell phone. At the time I rolled my eyes because I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I mean honestly, are people really that attached to their cell phones? But then yesterday I was reading a bit of something that my beloved kjwrit and I are working on and it mentioned a character being “stone age” for turning their cell phone off randomly when they’re at home. It got me thinking about my own relationship with today’s technology.
There are times when I like to unplug and go off the grid or just lurk. I don’t want my chats pinging, my texts alerting me, my Facebook poking me or my tumblr asking me questions about when I’m going to update a story. Now I realize I did this to myself. I’m the one that opened a Facebook account, began a WordPress blog, chose a twitter handle and started reblogging to my hearts’ content on tumblr. I’m responsible for the PMs, likes, favorites, reviews, ect. I get from fanfiction.net because I’m the one that decided to make myself public to the interwebs.
I was born in ’82 so I can recall a time when cell phones and the internet weren’t readily available. The bulk of my childhood, in fact. We didn’t have the internet in my house until after I graduated high school and even then it was America Online with one of those loud ass modems that woke up everyone in the house if you used it. My Mom got a cell phone in the mid ’90s, but mostly so that my sister and I could get a hold of her when she was working late or so she could call for help if she blew out a tire on the expressway coming home. For that reason, my mom is even less glued to her cell phone than I am and she has yet to fully master how to use her HTC1 phone.
As a kid, if you didn’t want to talk to people, you screened their calls because caller I.D. wasn’t available until I was probably like 12, or something. If you didn’t want to talk to someone, you let the voicemail or the answering machine get it. There was no backup option to text someone, tweet them or send them a message on any other social networking site. You had to hope that they checked their damn messages and called you back sometime before the year’s end… or you know… ever.
Don’t get me wrong, there are great bonuses to technology. This blog, for instance, wouldn’t exist without it. I wouldn’t have met some wonderful people without it. I wouldn’t have been able to post some of my work without it. It would be much harder to stay in contact with my sisters, who are now all living in other places. One is in Ohio, one is studying abroad in York, England and the third is married and living in Berlin, Germany. Technology makes it possible for me to Skype with them, text for free or see pictures almost instantaneously of what’s going on in their lives. There are many advantages of having almost constant access to the internet.
Of course, like with anything, there are pros and cons.