Full of contradiction, I am. Any one can guess one thing about me (even if you’ve visited this blog only once.) I’m a huge Star Wars fan. To say I am a Star Wars geek is really too much of an understatement. Geek doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what I am. I’m a self-proclaimed Jedi! I’m actively following the Jedi Path! (Some might call that crazy, but it makes sense to me.) There’s really nothing else to it. We’re all unique individuals. That’s beside the point.
For as big a lover of Star Wars as I am, an entire universe filled with top-notch items of technology, the highest of the highest qualities….and I hate advancements in technology.
Before you all get into a huff about my statement, let me say a few things. There are lots of advancements that are beneficial to people. Medical testings are far more efficient and can tell us more than we have ever wanted to know. From a simple flake of skin, someone can tell you what you ate today, yesterday, and probably a week ago. Given my current standing with my health, I’m all for technology in medicine. My grandma had Alzheimer’s, and she passed away three years ago this November. In those three years, the medical world has made strides in understanding that disease, and know so much more now then back when my grandma was first diagnosed with it. Technology has its benefits.
I hate it for other reasons.
Natalie Merchant, OF 10,000 Maniacs fame, has spoken the words to my soul, and she doesn’t even know it:
“There’s no other piece of furniture in my home I’d stare at for three hours at a time, so I try not to do it to the TV.”
Amen! Truer words have only been spoken by Yoda.
Take the Ipad, for example. It’s the newest, raging thing. Everybody has to have one. I ask one simple question: Why? It’s doing for you the same exact things that an Iphone or BlackBerry does. (Does anyone even use BlackBerries anymore?) You can still check your email, surf the web, text and chat with friends, check the weather at a seconds notice, see how traffic is, double-check your flight time, play games like Frogger and Angry Birds, download music, watch videos, take pictures….all these things you can already do on the device you have. It’s why laptops were invented! Laptops were too heavy and bulky to carry around, now Iphones are too small (What? Can’t get enough apps on that thing?), so now we’re turning to Ipads. The main reason I’ve heard people want an Ipad? Cuz now I can read a book AND do all my business on the same device?
Excuse me? That’s the best you can come up with? So now you can read a book AND check your email? Is it too hard to carry a small 1.5 lbs paperback book, and pick it up after setting down your Ipad?
There is one thought here. Actually, two. We are too dependent on technology, and we’re lazy. We’ve known our country is super lazy since its come out that younger generations may actually die quicker than our parents, all due to our states of obesity, lack of exercise, and infatuation with food. Don’t get me wrong. I love cooking, and I love eating twice as much. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing I slaved over this meal, then sitting down to it and finding it to be absolutely delicious. It’s one of the main reasons I still like cooking!
Not only is technology constantly draining our wallets of dollars and cents, but it’s also costing us the luxury of human interaction. We no longer know how to act around each other, and it’s just plain sad. People actually have to make a conscious effort to dial a phone number versus texting. Wouldn’t it be quicker to call someone, ask them the question you need an answer to *right now*, and have that conversation over with in 3 minutes versus waiting 3 hours for a reply text message? I think I would rather call. There’s something about hearing a loved one’s voice, too, that is so much more personal. Take me and New Guy. I would rather have him call me at 2:00 am on a Saturday evening after he’s done hanging out with the boys and hear his voice (even if slightly intoxicated) then get an impersonal text message, and guess at the tone of voice he’s carrying. Talking versus texting clears up more confusion than you might think. I have the tendency to overanalyze e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. So, I’m an expert on clearing things up now versus 2 days from now.
I’m using ‘versus’ a lot. Yeah, I’m in a fighting mood tonight.
I’m not trying to say I don’t ever do these things, too. I purposely avoided calling my sisters the other night to update them on my medical state of being. One of them I know would be overly concerned for my condition, and given the mood I was in for a couple of days, I would have been broken down even further. To avoid that, I sent them a text message. Yes, very impersonal. On the flip side, if my news ends up being more terrible, I will call and tell them. Could you imagine receiving a text telling someone you have an incurable disease? “Hey…went to the doc…I have cancer…TTYL!” Yeah…no. Not happening…and how rude!
There are three times I remember spending more than 3 hours in front of my TV. That day was New Year’s Day of this very year. So, 23 days ago. I stayed on my couch the whole day. Why? I was incredibly hung over. It’s amazing what champagne does to you the morning after. I was nauseous from the Fish Filet sandwich we all grabbed at 3 in the morning after dancing, drinking and bringing in the new year. I was dizzy…lack of water does that to you. So, I sucked on a bottle of water all day, kept the aspirin near by, kept the walking path to the bathroom clear, and just zonked out on the couch. It was the day I started my fascination with The Office, and I made it through 3 seasons in one day.
To people who do nothing but in front of your TV all day on a regular basis…oh my gawd. How do you stand it? Feeling as icky as I was, by that evening I needed to get up and do something. I didn’t care if I threw everything up from walking from my front door to my car. I needed to move!
The second time was when I had my wisdom teeth removed. They put you on some very potent drugs for that procedure. All I remember is my arm trying to get to my arm in order to pull the IV out (they strapped my arms down after that), and then they were poking me awake to walk to the recovery area. Very weird. Next thing I know, I’m in my mom’s car after passing out while she ran into Wal-Mart to have my prescription filled and blood is running down my neck and onto my favorite white Star Wars t-shirt (for good luck…you know, in case they decided to kill me in that procedure.) I got home, ate a mouthful of a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds, and passed out in my bed. I woke up in the late evening because my mom woke me up to watch the episode of Lost on that evening. What a great mother…
The third time was a reeeeally long time ago. I just spent 3 weeks in Australia, and stepped foot on my native home-state soil. It’s an 18-hour flight back from Sydney to Los Angeles. Plus, another 4 hours from L.A. to my home state. I don’t know how I managed it, but I didn’t sleep at all in those 18 hours between continents. I thought I would be so bored all I would want to do is sleep halfway through. Nope. I watched Million Dollar Baby twice, caught a few other movies, and read a bunch. Got up to use the bathroom twice, and basically soaked up the atmosphere of being in such a huge plane. I zonked out when we boarded the second plane in LA before we even took off. But I got home, said my hello’s to everyone in my family…and then crashed for a good 14 hours. Went to bed at 2 in the morning, I think, and didn’t wake up until 5:00 pm the next afternoon. Best part? My parents just let me sleep. I really do have the greatest parents…
So, other than staring at a television endlessly, my bed see’s a ton of action, too. And no, it’s not always THAT kind of action.
Technology changes too fast for people to keep up. That results in people always “needing” the new thing. Listen, everyone, you do not need the new Iphone 4 (or whatever version will be releasing next.) You do not need the Ipad 2. You do not need the Ipod that holds 2 millions songs versus the old version that only held 1.5 million. (Isee a trend happening here. Ha! See what I did there?)
Take a lesson from the Jedi in this area of life. You do not need everything. There is no need for possession. Possession only fosters the need to own, to control, and that can feed one’s anger.
I was on the technology band wagon for a while. I had a new phone. It was a great shade of purple, it was a slider so I could both touch the screen and use a keypad whenever I wanted. I could download videos, surf the web, my text messages looked like an IM conversation instead of individual mini messages. I was a part of the in-crowd. Then, over Easter brunch, my ex-boyfriend accidentally dumped his water-glass on top of it. Yup…of all the ways a water-glass could have fallen at that moment…it fell smack dab on my new phone.
Was I angry? No… I was pissed.I had that phone for less than a month, and it was already destroyed. He apologized, and then bought me a replacement phone. That one lasted longer than a month…then I dropped it in a rain puddle. I took that as a sign from the universe that I didn’t need a high-tech fancy phone. What am I using now? The phone I kept as a back-up, and I had used it all through high school. It’s so old, it doesn’t download pictures through text message. This thing is ancient compared to everyone else’s. You know what? I don’t even care. All I need it for is calling and texting. I don’t need it for any other purpose. That’s why I own a laptop.
I don’t mean to give the impression that I think technology should go crawl in a hole and die, never to rear its ugly head again. Not at all. What it doesn’t need to do is consume everyone’s lives. Technology has its place and purpose. It’s not going away anytime soon, either. A part of life I simply have to deal with. There is great technology pieces out there. Like the GPS unit. If I ever get a big girl job that requires a lot of car travel, I’m going to invest in one. In unknown territory, I am a menace to society.
The main reason I hate the Ipad so much? It’s an attempt to kill my beloved book industry. I’ve been fighting this title for as long as I’ve been at the Academy, but I have come to love it. I am 100% a writer. If I don’t write for a couple of days, my mind and fingers go bonkers. I hate writing some days…all writers do. But when these images enter my mind, or a new story idea hits me like a freight train and I have to write it down, it can only mean one thing. I am a writer. Since I am a self-proclaimed writer (you heard it here first!), I need the book industry. I need the magazine industry. I need newspapers. I need these things that glorify writing to exist. Hence why blogging is quickly becoming one of my favorite things in this great, wide universe.
Don’t kill my book industry. Anyone I see with an Ipad these days hears this lecture from me. My sister gave her fiancée one for Christmas. They both got an earful. I’m still working up the courage to go up to the Nook representative at Barnes and Noble and give them an earful.
That’s another battle. Another time.
My advice to you? Make contact with people. Real, actual, I-can-touch-you-in-a-totally-appropriate-way contact.
Have you seen the movie Wall-e? That’s where this world is headed if we’re not careful.
But, so I’m not ending on a morbid note….Here’s my favorite Star Wars find of the day. Enjoy!